The elephant bird is considered the largest bird to have ever lived. Weight: 1.0 en elephant Source: English Wiktionary: en irrelephant ― DerivedFrom Weight: 1.0 en ... en elephant bird ― DerivedFrom Weight: 1.0 en elephant Source: English Wiktionary: en elephant … For 60 million years the colossal, flightless elephant bird -- Aepyornis maximus -- stalked the savannah and rainforests of Madagascar until it was hunted to extinction around 1,000 years ago. For decades, paleontologists believed that ratites were related to other ratites; i.e., that the giant, flightless elephant bird of Madagascar was close evolutionary kin to the giant, flightless Moa of New Zealand. These massive animals are believed to have reached a height of 3m and a weight range of 350-500kg! Étienne de Flacourt, a French governor of Madagascar in the 1640s and 1650s, mentions an ostrich-like bird said to inhabit unpopulated regions, though it is unclear whether he was repeating folk tales passed on from generations earlier. Elephant birds are members of the extinct family Aepyornithidae.Elephant birds were large to enormous flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar.They became extinct, perhaps around 1000-1200 AD, for reasons that are unclear, although human activity is the suspected cause.Elephant birds comprised the genera Mullerornis and Aepyornis. "Description of a new species of subfossil eagle from Madagascar: "Phylogeny and Biogeography of Ratite Birds Inferred from DNA Sequences of the Mitochondrial Ribosomal Genes", Fossilised egg gives clue to fate of ancient birds The Independent, Giant egg from extinct elephant bird up for auction, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elephant_bird&oldid=992957642, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2007, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 01:06. The elephant is the largest land animal taking into account its weight and height. ", It Was Not the Size and Weight of an Elephant but About as Tall, Flightless Kiwi Birds Are Its Closest Living Relatives, One Fossilized Aepyornis Egg Sold for $100,000, Mint Images - Frans Lanting / Getty Images, Aepyornis and Mullerornis Are Two Types of Elephant Birds, An Elephant Bird Is Almost as Tall as a Thunderbird, Its Extinction Could Be the Fault of Humans, It Could Be in Line One Day for 'De-Extincting', 10 Mythical Beasts Inspired by Prehistoric Animals, Prehistoric Life During the Pleistocene Epoch, Doedicurus: The Giant Prehistoric Armadillo, The 20 Biggest Mammals, Ranked by Category. Weight: 1505 g. Period: 18th century. However, it was about as tall. They went extinct in the 17th-18th century and their closest living relative is the Kiwi Bird! Overall: 24'' H x 15'' W x 15'' D; Overall Product Weight: 3lb. However, the "bird mimic" dinosaurs that preceded the elephant bird by tens of millions of years and had roughly the same body plan, were in fact elephant-sized. They ranged in size from that of a turkey to larger than an ostrich; some stood as tall as 3 meters (10 feet). The most likely route would be to recover scraps of its DNA and combine it with a kiwi-derived genome. The bird looked like an ostrich but way bigger and was herbivorous. Bob Strauss is a science writer and the author of several books, including "The Big Book of What, How and Why" and "A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of North America. Existing for 60 million years in Madagascar, the elephant bird was extinct by the 16th century. They were officially described and named by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1851. Despite its name, the elephant bird … In 1659, Flacourt wrote of the "vouropatra – a large bird which haunts the Ampatres and lays eggs like the ostriches; so that the people of these places may not take it, it seeks the most lonely places." Elephant birds (Aepyornis) were enormous flightless birds that were once found in Madagascar. As far as paleontologists can tell, however, Aepyornis contented itself with picking off low-lying fruit, which grew in abundance in this tropical climate. The second-largest living bird on Earth, Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) is a large flightless bird native to… (Note: African bush elephants range from 8.2 to 13 feet tall and weigh 5,000 to 14,000 pounds, while Asian elephants range from 6.6 to 9.8 feet tall and weigh between 4,500 and 11,000 pounds.) Some individuals measured nearly 12 feet tall. Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's. Elephant Birds were huge, flightless birds which lived up until the 18th century in Madagascar. Because it went extinct in historical times and we know about its kinship with the modern kiwi bird, the elephant bird may yet be a candidate for de-extinction. The largest specimens the elephant bird Aepyornis were 10 feet tall and weighed about 1,000 pounds—still enough to make it the biggest bird that ever lived. The Deinocheirus may have weighed as much as 14,000 pounds. Ratites, large, flightless birds resembling and including ostriches, tend to evolve in self-contained island environments. Page 9", "Egg laid by extinct elephant bird sells for $101G at British auction", "Elephant Bird Egg Auction Inspires a Hunt", "Giant, Intact Egg of the Extinct Elephant Bird Found in Buffalo Museum", "Early Holocene human presence in Madagascar evidenced by exploitation of avian megafauna", "The Taxonomicon : Taxon: Order Aepyornithiformes", "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification, Genus Aepyornis", "Catalogue of Fossil Birds Part 1 (Archaeopterygiformes through Ardeiformes)". It was given its name due to its great size. Such was the case with the elephant bird, which was restricted to the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa. In 1298, the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo mentioned an elephant bird in one of his narratives, which has led to over 700 years of confusion. They were more lightly built than the elephant bird, but still three times the weight of a large man at up to 200 - 275 kg. It had the advantage of living in a habitat with plenty of lush, tropical vegetation, but scarcely anything in the way of mammalian predators, a surefire recipe for what naturalists refer to as "insular gigantism.". Scholars believe that Polo was actually talking about the rukh, or roc, a mythical beast inspired by a flying, eagle-like bird (which would certainly rule out Aepyornis as the source of the legend). Despite its name, the elephant bird was nowhere near the size of a full-grown elephant. There are about a dozen fossil eggs around the world, including one at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., two at the Melbourne Museum in Australia, and a whopping seven at California's Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. Meet the largest elephant in the world. Now termed Vorombe titan, which for ease of reference will be referred to as Big Bird (Malagasy and Greek), the massive creature weighed in at up to 800kg (1,700lbs) and reached a height of three meters, nearly 10 feet tall. Technically, however, the lesser-known Mullerornis is also classified as an elephant bird, albeit smaller than its famous contemporary. The ancestors of the elephant bird may have arrived in Madagascar during the Miocene, as early as 24 million years ago. Measures of the two halves: 31.5 x 16.5 x 8 cm 35.5 x 13.5 x 10.5 cm Weight of the two bones: 1830 g The Elephant Bird's weight was approximately 1,000 pounds (455 Kilograms). The Elephant bird belonged to the family Aepyornithidae, and comprised of three different genera Mullerornis, Vorombe and Aepyornis. Title: Weights: Elephant, Bitrd with Body in Knot, Bird Claw Date: 18th–20th century Geography: Ghana Culture: Akan peoples Medium: Brass Dimensions: L. 1 3/8 to 3 23/32 in. Étienne de Flacourt, a French governor of Madagascar in the 1640s and 1650s, recorded frequent sightings of elephant birds. Flightless, fruit-gobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high. The elephant birds are estimated to have become extinct about 1,000 years ago. They had small heads relative to their huge bodies. The still-living example of elephants birds, the ostrich, can run at speeds of up to 70 kph. The Elephant Bird had very small wings which served no purpose; this bird was flightless. The appealing purple shimmers in the sun, providing extra levels of visual attractiveness. 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