Ratitae

plural noun

Ra·​ti·​tae
rəˈtītˌē
in some classifications
: a superordinal group of birds comprising forms with small or rudimentary wings, no pygostyle, and no keel to the breastbone that are nonetheless evidently descended from birds with the power of flight, including the ostriches, rheas, cassowaries and emus, elephant birds, moas, and kiwis, and usually constituting a primary subdivision of the subclass Neornithes

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, feminine plural of ratitus marked with the figure of a raft, from ratis raft; perhaps akin to Latin rete net

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Cite this Entry

“Ratitae.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ratitae. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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