New Latin, genus name, from Greek aipys high + ornis bird — more at erne
First Known Use: 1851
Any of a group of giant flightless birds in the extinct genus Aepyornis, found as fossils in Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene deposits on Madagascar. Most were massively constructed (some stood more than 10 ft, or 3 m, high) and had a small skull and a long slim neck. Remains of aepyornis and its eggs (as large as 3 ft, or 1 m, in circumference) are common. Its ancestry is uncertain.