Definition of elephant bird in English:

Share this entry

elephant bird


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.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ele|phant bird

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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