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elephant bird Elephant Bird (Aepyornis maximus)



Elephant birds are members of the extinct ratite family Aepyornithidae, made up of flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar. They are thought to have become extinct around 1000-1200 CE, probably as a result of human activity. Elephant birds comprised the genera MullerornisVorombe and Aepyornis. While they were in close geographical proximity to the ostrich, their closest living relatives are kiwi (found only in New Zealand), suggesting that ratites did not diversify by vicariance during the breakup of Gondwana but instead evolved from ancestors that dispersed more recently by flying.

In September 2018, scientists determined that Vorombe titan reached weights of 730 kg (1,600 lb) and stood 3 m (9.8 ft) tall, making it the world's largest and heaviest bird, slightly larger than the much older Dromornis stirtoni. Other members of the family were also very large, exhibiting the phenomenon of island gigantism.


Aepyornis maximus is commonly known as the 'elephant bird', a term that apparently originated from Marco Polo's account of the rukh in 1298, although he was apparently referring to an eagle-like bird strong enough to "seize an elephant with its talons".[20] Sightings of eggs of elephant birds by sailors (e.g., text on the Fra Mauro map of 1467–69, if not attributable to ostriches) could also have been erroneously attributed to a giant raptor from Madagascar. The legend of the roc could also have originated from sightings of such a giant subfossil eagle related to the African crowned eagle, which has been described in the genus Stephanoaetus from Madagascar,[21] being large enough to carry off large primates; today, lemurs still retain a fear of aerial predators such as these. Another might be the perception of ratites retaining neotenic features and thus being mistaken for enormous chicks of a presumably more massive bird.

The ancient Malagasy name for the bird is vorompatra, meaning "bird of the Ampatres". The Ampatres are today known as the Androy region of southern Madagascar.



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Elephant bird - Wikipedia

elephant birds | GeorgiaBeforePeople (wordpress.com)

Elephant birds were the largest species of bird to ever walk on earth. They lived in Madagascar until ~1800 AD. Humans likely overhunted them to extinction. The largest species of elephant bird, Aepyornis maximus, grew as tall as 10 feet and could reach weights of 1100 lbs, and their eggs weighed 22 lbs. (2 species~Aepyornis and Mulleronis)

** After several researches, this critter inspired us to present it to you. We could take it for the walk and why not attach a cariole to carry people and some provisions. She looks harmless but if you make her angry, save yourself because a peck and you will regret it!  **


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