Temporal range: Miocene
An artist's illustration of Kelenken guillermoi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cariamiformes
Family: Phorusrhacidae
Subfamily: Phorusrhacinae
Genus: Kelenken
Bertelli et al., 2007
Species: K. guillermoi
Binomial name
Kelenken guillermoi
Bertelli et al., 2007

Kelenken is an extinct genus of giant flightless predatory birds of the family Phorusrhacidae or "terror birds". These birds lived in the Middle Miocene, some 15 million years ago, in Argentina along with Argentavis. With a skull 28 inches (71 cm) long (including its 18 inch, 45.7 cm beak), it had the largest head of any known bird.


Kelenken was the largest carnivorous bird of all time, possibly reaching 2.28 to 3 meters (7.5 to 10 feet) tall and weighing around 500 pounds (230 kg).


It was a large,flightless carnivore which probably chased down and killed its prey with several bone-shattering blows from its beak. Another possibility is that it may have picked up its prey item, then proceeded to shake it vigorously to break its back, or simply deliver a fatal bite from its massive beak.

In Pop Culture

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.