Share this entry

Share this page

elephant bird

Syllabification: el·e·phant bird

Definition of elephant bird in English:

noun

A heavily built, giant flightless bird, found in Madagascar until it was exterminated in about ad 1000. The eggs, which are still found occasionally, are the largest known. Also called aepyornis.
  • Family Aepyornithidae, genera Aepyornis and Mullerornis: several species, including A. maximus
Example sentences
  • Fossils from Madagascar tell us that a gigantic bird, the elephant bird Aepyornis maximus, lived there, perhaps until as late as the seventeenth century, although more probably around 1000 AD.
  • Other ratites, the elephant bird of Madagascar and the moas of New Zealand, have been extinct for several centuries, probably as a result of human hunting.
  • There are no elephants, but there was once something like an ostrich but much, much bigger, called the elephant bird.

Definition of elephant bird in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…