ratite


rat·ite

noun \ˈra-ˌtīt\

Definition of RATITE

:  a bird with a flat breastbone; especially :  any of various mostly flightless birds (as an ostrich, rhea, emu, moa, or kiwi) with small or rudimentary wings and no keel on the sternum that are probably of polyphyletic origin and are assigned to a number of different orders
ratite adjective

Origin of RATITE

ultimately from Latin ratitus marked with the figure of a raft, from ratis raft
First Known Use: 1877

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl

Rhymes with RATITE

affright, air right, airtight, albite, Albright, alight, all right, all-night, a mite, aright, backbite, backlight, bauxite, bedight, birthright, black light, bleed white, bobwhite, bombsight, box kite, calcite, campsite, catfight, cockfight, contrite, cordite, Cushite, daylight, deadlight, delight, dendrite, despite, dogfight, downlight, downright, droplight, dust mite, earthlight, excite, eyebright, eyesight, fanlight, felsite, ferrite, finite, fire blight, firefight, firelight, first night, fistfight, flashlight, fleabite, floodlight, foresight, forthright, fortnight, freewrite, frostbite, Gadite, gall mite, gaslight, gastight, ghostwrite, goethite, graphite, green light, gummite, gunfight, half-light, halite, Hamite, handwrite, headlight, highlight, hindsight, Hittite, homesite, hoplite, Hussite, ignite, illite, infight, in-flight, incite, indict, indite, insight, in sight, invite, jacklight, jadeite, key light, lamplight, late blight, leucite, Levite, lighttight, lignite, limelight, lintwhite, lowlight, Lucite, Luddite, lyddite, marmite, Melchite, Memphite, midnight, millwright, moonlight, New Right, night-light, nitrite, off-site, off-white, on sight, on-site, outright, outsight, partite, peep sight, penlight, perlite, playwright, polite, preflight, prizefight, pyrite, quartzite, recite, red light, red-light, requite, respite, rewrite, rushlight, rust mite, safelight, samite, searchlight, Semite, Servite, Shemite, Shiite, shipwright, sidelight, sit tight, skintight, skylight, skywrite, slant height, smectite, snakebite, snow-white, sound bite, spaceflight, spotlight, stage fright, starlight, sternite, sticktight, stoplight, streetlight, stylite, sulfite, sunlight, Sunnite, taillight, termite, thermite, tonight, torchlight, trothplight, Twelfth Night, twilight, twi-night, typewrite, unite, unsight, upright, uptight, wainwright, watch night, wax light, Web site, weeknight, wheelwright, white flight, white knight, x-height, zinc white

ratite

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any bird species that cannot fly because its smooth, or raftlike, sternum (breastbone) lacks a keel to which flight muscles can be anchored. The group includes some of the largest birds of all time. Two extinct types, the slow-moving, heavy-bodied elephant bird of Madagascar and the moas of New Zealand, grew to 10 ft (3 m) tall. Extant ratites include the cassowary, emu, kiwi, ostrich, and rhea.

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