By Owen Hitchcock
CHICAGO, IL – Researchers at the University of Chicago have uncovered new information about the diet of Argentavis magnificens, commonly known as the Giant Teratorn.
The study, released in an independent report, discusses evidence that suggests the ancient bird’s diet consisted primarily of rodents, smaller birds, and various Taco Bell entrees.
“During a recent expedition to Argentina, my team and I uncovered numerous well-preserved skeletal fossils of the Giant Teratorn,” said Dr. Leo Riviera, the head researcher and author of the study.
“The most striking feature is the shape of the bird’s beak,” Dr. Riviera explained. Not only is it sharp enough to tear a seventy-pound beaver cleanly apart, but the bottom beak seems to have perfectly evolved to cradle a Cheesy Potato burrito while the top beak takes a bite. As any experienced burrito-eater knows, this drastically reduces the amount of fillings that fall to the ground.”
The study also notes the above-average length of the Giant Teratorn’s legs. The bird was able to stand on one leg and use the other to firmly grasp a large goose or a Fiery Doritos Locos taco. Argentavis magnificens could essentially use its long legs as an arm and bring the food to its beak.
“According to Wikipedia, birds don’t have hands,” said Dr. Riviera. “The Teratorn seems to have adapted to this by using its legs as hands. While current science won’t explain whyArgentavis magnificens doesn’t peck at its food straight off the ground like most Taco Bell clientele, we may assume this is because the bird may have had a slightly higher intelligence.”
According to Dr. Riviera, these findings are a big step towards understanding every detail of animals that died millions of years ago.
Because the diet is a fundamental aspect in the Giant Teratorn’s life, after scientists understand it they can then hypothesize other characteristics of Argentavis magnificens’ life. These include teenage dating rituals, holiday dinner gatherings, and Dr. Riviera’s biggest question of all, if birds really had hands or not.