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Old textbooks will tell you that the Diatryma is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. But Diatryma’s reputation was all hype and misunderstanding. The “terror bird” rap comes from the beak. Both top and bottom are huge and deep. But living predatory birds like eagles and hawks don’t have beaks like Diatryma’s. They have a big hook at the end of the snout for spearing live prey and ripping it apart. Diatryma’s beak is hook-less. Eagles and hawks have thin lower jaws, because the hook does all the work. Diatryma has an incredibly thick, strong lower beak. Eagles and hawks have curved claws on their feet for skewering live victims. Diatryma has weak, blunt claws on its feet.

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  • Title: Diatryma

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