1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Prehistoric Birds A to Z

Profiles of the prehistoric birds that lived alongside--and succeeded--the dinosaurs.

Adzebill
A lesser-known cousin of New Zealand's giant moas.

Andalgalornis
This "terror bird" hatcheted prey with its giant beak.

Anthropornis
Guess how tall this "human bird" was?

Archaeopteryx
This ancient, flying reptile was about the size of a modern pigeon.

Argentavis
One of the biggest flying birds that ever lived.

Aurornis
This "dawn bird" predated Archaeopteryx by 10 million years.

Bullockornis
Better known as the "Demon Duck of Doom."

Carolina Parakeet
The only parrot to be indigenous to the U.S.

Confuciusornis
Guess what country this proto-bird was discovered in?

Copepteryx
This penguin-like bird lived in ancient Japan.

Dasornis
This ancient bird plied the coasts of Eocene England.

Dinornis (Giant Moa)
Some of these birds attained heights of 12 feet.

Dodo Bird
The poster bird for extinction.

Elephant Bird (Aepyornis)
This prehistoric bird weighed almost half a ton.

Emeus (Eastern Moa)
This moa had comically oversized feet.

Enantiornis
This "opposite bird" lived alongside the dinosaurs.

Eoconfuciusornis
This toothless bird preceded Confuciusornis by over five million years.

Eocypselus
It lay at the root of the hummingbird evolutionary tree.

Eskimo Curlew
This bird migrated in one vast flock.

Gansus
Was this the first amphibious bird?

Gargantuavis
This ostrich-like bird coexisted with dinosaurs.

Gastornis (Diatryma)
This prehistoric bird was a fierce hunter.

Genyornis
This ostrich-like bird was hunted to death 50,000 years ago.

Giant Penguin (Icadyptes)
This "dino-penguin" made its home in Eocene Peru.

Great Auk (Pinguinus)
This flightless bird was hunted to extinction 200 years ago.

Haast's Eagle (Harpagornis)
The largest eagle that ever lived.

Hesperornis
A flightless bird of the late Cretaceous.

Hongshanornis
This toothed bird was recently discovered in China.

Iberomesornis
A tiny bird from the early Cretaceous period.

Ichthyornis
This "fish bird" had a set of very reptilian teeth.

Inkayacu
This Eocene penguin had red and gray feathers.

Jeholornis
One of the earliest known birds.

Kairuku
Another plus-sized penguin of the Oligocene epoch.

Kelenken
This "terror bird" had an enormous skull.

Liaoningornis
A tiny, perching bird from the early Cretaceous.

Longipteryx
This early bird has proven difficult to classify.

Moa-Nalo
The Hawaiian equivalent of the Dodo Bird.

Mopsitta
Did this Scandinavian parrot "pine for the fjords?"

Osteodontornis
One of the biggest sea birds that ever lived.

Palaelodus
A prehistoric precursor of the flamingo.

Passenger Pigeon
After the Dodo, the most famous extinct bird of modern times.

Patagopteryx
A chicken-like bird of the late Cretaceous.

Pelagornis
The biggest flying bird that ever lived.

Presbyornis
This ancient bird was a kind of "dino-duck."

Psilopterus
This "terror bird" only weighed about 10 pounds.

Samrukia
Once thought to be a bird, now identified as a pterosaur.

Sapeornis
The largest known bird from the early Cretaceous period.

Shanweiniao
An enantiornithine bird of early Cretaceous Asia.

Shuvuuia
Scientists can't decide if it was a dinosaur or a bird.

Stephens Island Wren
This tiny, flightless bird went extinct in 1894.

Teratornis
A prehistoric relative of modern condors.

Terror Bird (Phorusrhacos)
This bird was as scary as its name is hard to pronounce.

Thunder Bird (Dromornis)
A contender for the "world's biggest bird" title.

Titanis
The star of the horror movie "The Flock."

Vegavis
This Cretaceous bird was discovered in Antarctica.

Waimanu
The earliest penguin in the fossil record.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.