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Temporal range: Late Paleocene, 60 Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cariamiformes
Family: ?†Phorusrhacidae
Genus: Paleopsilopterus
Species: P. itaboraiensis
Binomial name
Paleopsilopterus itaboraiensis

Paleopsilopterus is an extinct genus of giant flightless predatory birds within Cariamiformes. It is usually attributed to the subfamily Psilopterinae of the family Phorusrhacidae, or "terror birds", though doubts about such an identity have arisen multiple times.[1][2] It lived 60 million years ago in Brazil during the late Paleocene. The only known species is Paleopsilopterus itaboraiensis.


  1. ^ Angst, D.; Buffetaut, E.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R. (2013). ""Terror Birds" (Phorusrhacidae) from the Eocene of Europe Imply Trans-Tethys Dispersal". PLoS ONE. 8 (11): e80357. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080357. 
  2. ^ Alvarenga HMF, Höfling E (2003) Systematic revision of the Phorusrhacidae (Aves: Ralliformes). Papéis Avulsos Zool 43: 55–91. doi: 10.1590/s0031-10492003000400001