elephant bird


Definition of elephant bird

: any of a group (genus Aepyornis or order Aepyornithiformes) of gigantic flightless ratite birds known only from remains found in Madagascar

Examples of elephant bird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thousands of years ago, humans lived alongside behemoths such as giant lemurs, dwarf hippos, giant tortoises and the world’s largest bird, the elephant bird, on the island of Madagascar. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Droughts and Human Interference Wiped Out Madagascar’s Gigantic Wildlife 1,500 Years Ago," 20 Oct. 2020 The 68-million-year-old egg, called Antarcticoolithus bradyi, is the first fossil egg ever found in Antarctica, only outsized by the eggs of Madagascar’s extinct elephant bird. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "First soft-shelled dinosaur eggs shed light on prehistoric parenting," 17 June 2020 The egg is also the second-largest discovered from any creature, coming in second to an egg from the extinct Madagascan elephant bird. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "'The Thing': Scientists reveal world's biggest soft-shelled egg belongs to extinct sea lizard," 19 June 2020 Much of the island’s megafauna (including nearly 10-foot-tall elephant birds and lemurs the size of gorillas) has been driven to extinction. New York Times, "Madagascar: A Cornucopia of Beauty," 5 May 2020 Only two elephant birds from Madagascar, Vorombe titan and Aepyornis maximus, beat this ancient giant in terms of size. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "12-foot bird lived alongside early human relatives, fossils reveal," 26 June 2019 Compared to extinct elephant birds and moas, Pachystruthio had longer, more slender leg bones, which tells us how the bird moved. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "12-foot bird lived alongside early human relatives, fossils reveal," 26 June 2019 Fossils of giant extinct birds are quite rare worldwide, adds James Hansford, a paleontologist with the Institute of Zoology in London who is an expert on the extinct elephant birds of Madagascar. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "12-foot bird lived alongside early human relatives, fossils reveal," 26 June 2019 Earlier this year, the Buffalo Museum of Science in Buffalo, N.Y. revealed that that a rare elephant bird egg in its collection had been mislabeled for decades. James Rogers, Fox News, "Elephant bird mystery solved? Discovery may explain demise of world's largest-ever birds," 13 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elephant bird.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elephant bird

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for elephant bird

Time Traveler

The first known use of elephant bird was circa 1889

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Cite this Entry

“Elephant bird.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elephant%20bird. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elephant bird

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