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Some skeptics have claimed such a large bird could never have flown, but several flying creatures with huge wingspans are indeed known. The prehistoric vulture-like Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of around 7 m (23 ft) and was capable of flight. The massive Cretaceous-era pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi (or perhaps Hatzegopteryx thambema) was the largest known flying creature in history, with a wingspan of around 12 m (40 ft). However, the Thunderbird's identity as a pterosaur is unlikely because the Thunderbird is invariably shown having feathers. A pterosaur's wings were made of a membrane of skin stretched over a bony finger, similar to a bat's wings.
...Cieza de León, a Spanish conquistador and chronicler noted that in Perú (in the 1540s) there were “some very big condors that almost look like griffins; some attack lambs and small guanaco in the fields”.
Close by, at the Coihaique mountain range, in 2009, Juan Moran wrote that “they say there are some black birds whose extended wings are 6 meters [19.6 ft. long] […] their eating habits are the same as those of condors and their life is more nocturnal than diurnal”.
In 2000, at Providencia, Tierra del Fuego, after many sheep appeared mauled a dock hand named Luis Gutiérrez Galli said that “I saw a bird fly over us, the size of a human being and with big wings”. Apparently, he believed that this bird was involved in the killings.