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, which is the heaviest known bird.
- 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.
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