Terror bird


Turok Bird





Ostrich-like body, powerful legs, large skull, thick imposing beak with hooked tip.

Other nomenclature:

Axe Beak


Terror birds (also known as phorusrhacids) are a group of extinct birds in the clade Phorusrhacidae. They appear frequently in later entries to the Turok franchise.

This includes the Acclaim video game, Turok: Evolution, the animated film Turok: Son of Stone, and the Dynamite comic book series, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.



Phorusrachids are large (1–3 meters tall) flightless avians with a body resembling that of large ratites, with short torsos, elongated necks, and long powerful limbs, which allowed members of the group to reach running speeds of up to 48 km/h.

The key feature of the group is their enormous skulls, the largest of which could reach at least 71 cm long. These skulls were equipped with great, thick beaks, which ended in a sharply curved point like that of an eagle. These were likely used by the animals to dispatch prey. Phorusrachids were likely carnivores.

Turok: EvolutionEdit

In Turok: Evolution, terror birds, called Axe Beaks, appear covered mostly in ruddy red feathers, with white remiges on small wings. A crest of pointed feathers adorns the rear of the skull. The metatarsals and feet are featherless and of a pale cream color with a sizable reversed hallux. The beak is of an orange coloration and bares a noticeable notch at its rear not seen in any known phorusrachid.

The Acclaim-published strategy guide reveals that the Axe Beaks are not true terror birds but are instead genetically modified Raptors created by Lord Tyrannus.

Turok: Son of Stone movieEdit

The terror birds in the animated film resemble the genus Titanis in size and proportion. They have a coat of thick brown feathers with a fan of tail retrices of the same color. The metatarsals and feet are scaly and dull yellow in color. The beak shares the color of the feet.

Strangely, they also possess featherless, clawed hands with separate digits, rather than avian wings. This feature was suggested for Titanis by analytical researcher R.M. Chandler but has since been discredited. Furthermore, the hands are shown as pronated, with the palms pointing backwards rather than towards one another, which would have been impossible for the animal even if grasping digits were present.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (2014)Edit

In Dynamite's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter comic series, the terror birds resemble a large phorusrachid such as Titanis or Kelenken. Their bodies are covered in thick purple feathers with ostrich-like wings and extravagant fans of long, sword-shaped retrices forming a tail-fan and a ruff at the base of the neck.

The neck itself is mostly bare with pale, wrinkled skin and loose tufts of feathers on the dorsal surface. The legs appear to be scaly and bare the same color as the neck. The beak is a pale yellow and bares keratinous bumps or spikes on its top midline. The Mongols have decorated the sides of the beak with an orange spiral motif.


Terror birds are frequent appearances in the post-2000 incarnations of the Turok franchise, having appeared in game, comic, and film formats. The animal is often portrayed as a denizen of the Lost Land and as a mount or beast of burden.

Turok: EvolutionEdit

In Turok: Evolution, these creatures first appear in the level "Summit Battle," where they are seen eating the carcass of a Brachiosaurus in a closed-in, cliff-like area near the summit. The animals appear again at several points in Chapter 6.


Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (2014)Edit

Turok Phorusrhacid

Terror Bird riders in Dynamite's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter issue #6

Terror birds appear in the Dynamite Entertainment Turok: Dinosaur Hunter comic series. The animal makes its first appearance in issue #6, where the ground units of the Mongol army are seen mounted on large phorusrachids. This marks one of two incarnations where the animals appear as beasts of burden.


While Chichak was taking Catori hostage and warning Turok and Andar to back off lest she be killed, a wild terror bird shows up and attacks. Turok's horse shrieks in terror as the bird attacks, slicing her neck. The horse is then shown headless as the body falls to the ground.

The terror bird shrieks with victory, only to see Turok and Andar preparing to fight it. Turok jumps on it but gets knocked down by the bird. Andar then shoots an arrow at it. As Catori struggles to get free, Chichak knocks her out and quickly gets away while the two are distracted by the bird. Turok stabs the bird with his tomahawk, but the bird pushes him away. Andar then shoots its eye with a second arrow. The terror bird squabbles away in pain. It is unclear what happened to it, but it is possible that it died from its wounds.

Later, Turok, Andar, and Catori encounter a group of Native Americans that use tamed terror birds as mounts.

List of appearancesEdit

Wildlife and Enemies of Turok: Evolution
Saurian Creatures AnkylosaurusBrachiosaurusCompsognathusJuggernautParasaurolophusStegosaurusTenontosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexUtahraptor
Mammalian Creatures BaboonChimpanzeeDoedicurusGazelleLemurPalaeotheriumSaber-Toothed CatUintatherium
Various Species ButterflyCrocodileDragonflyFrogIguanaParrotPteranodonPurrlinSlegTerror birdToucanTurtleVulture
Humanoid Enemies
Scout Infantry Sleg Scout
Soldier Infantry Sleg CaptainSleg GuardSleg RapierSleg SergeantSleg SniperSleg Soldier
Miscellaneous Sleg MonkSleg Raptor HandlerSleg Worker
Wildlife Bosses Bruckner's Tyrannosaurus rexStyracosaurus
Vehicle Bosses Sleg Airship
Cut Content
Wildlife KronosaurusWild BoarWolfWoolly rhinoceros

Turok: Son of Stone (2008)
Protagonists TurokAndarCatoriNashobaKobaAniwaHanoquiSepintaGaleshi
Antagonists ChichakCavemen
Dinosaurs AnkylosaurusBrachiosaurusCarnotaurusVelociraptor
Miscellaneous Creatures ArsinoitheriumBearDimetrodonLemurMegalocerosHorsePlesiosaurusPteranodonTylosaurusTerror bird
Locations EarthThe Lost Land