Monster Loon

Busy busy this week, but I found this while trolling through my Field Museum pictures. Dave Willard had been helping me to locate a specimen of an American Kestrel for a commissioned painting I had been working on. While I was waiting for him to pull the specimen from the collections cabinets, I looked over and found this thing sitting on a table! It was a large plaster sculpture of what Dave called an ancient relative of modern day loons. I think of loons as these peaceful water birds that grace postcards of Minnesota, with haunting calls filling northern spring evenings. This thing, however, looks like an avian torpedo that could remove a few limbs from unsuspecting humanoid swimmers. Cool!

I asked Dave if I could take it home.

He said no.


  1. Yeeeaahhh if I were to come across THAT thing back home at the cabin, well, I would no longer STAY at the cabin. Freaky! How big are these things exactly compared to the modern day loon?

  2. I'm not sure? The sculpture was about 3 times the size of a modern loon, and so, I am not sure if this was to scale. I kind of imagine them just being gigantic, because it seems like everything from the Ice Age and back was oversized.

  3. Coolest. Bird. Ever!! (Where are the sleestacks?)


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