The flightless terror birds were the largest predators in South America for the vast majority of the Cenozoic. But this one… was from Africa.
Lavocatavis africana lived in Algeria during the early Eocene, about 52-46 million years ago. Known only from a single femur, it’s estimated to have stood 1.5m tall (5′), and seems to have been closely related to younger and better-known Argentinian species like Andalgalornis.
So how did it end up on a completely different continent? South America and Africa were already well separated, having first broken apart 130 mya, so a land migration couldn’t have happened. The South Atlantic was still much narrower than it is today, however – around 1,000km wide (621 miles) – so Lavocatavis’ ancestors may have “island-hopped” across the ocean via the now-submerged Rio Grande Rise and Walvis Ridge. (And the New World monkeys did in fact make the same trip in the opposite direction, so it’s not as unlikely as it might sound.)
The other animal depicted in this image is ‘Megalohyrax’ gevini. Hyraxes were the main herbivores in Africa during the Eocene and Oligocene, some reaching the size of rhinoceri. With ‘Megalohyrax’ standing at least 1m tall at the shoulder (3′3″), it was probably a little bit too large for a medium-sized terror bird like Lavocatavis to take down easily.
Stranger Things on Netflix is so good that we had to make a diorama. The music, the characters, and the story were just what we needed. We especially loved Eleven. She’s one of the best young female characters ever written. Plus, she’s got a thing for waffles and so do we. It’s worth all the hype. Go watch it now.
I made a thing! A wreath thingy. I need a better camera….and actual sunlight. Hopefully I can get better pictures later. Anyways, this is made from driftwood and stones I slowly gathered from several of my favorite hiking spots. Then I spent forever and a half slowly intertwining all the individual pieces. Then I hung it up above the fireplace and discovered that the glue I had used was not heat resistant. So then I did it all over again with a different glue… Yep.
*Please don’t remove my source/text from my artwork. Thank you!
I got a couple questions about materials I use, so I thought I would show a few bits. This is not definitive!! I often go off things or find new favourites! But here are some things I love: Parker quink ink, acrylic/normal ink, gouache in tablet form and then loads and loads of pens and pencils! No particular brand- but I keep them in this cute yellow box I found.