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Scientists name world’s largest bird elephant as Vorombe titan (meaning “big bird”). The first species of elephant bird to be described, Aepyornis maximus, has often been considered to be the world’s largest bird.
“Elephant birds were the biggest of Madagascar’s megafauna and arguably one of the most important in the islands evolutionary history — even more so than lemurs,” Hansford said. “This is because large-bodied animals have an enormous impact on the wider ecosystem they live in via controlling vegetation through eating plants, spreading biomass and dispersing seeds through defecation.” “Madagascar is still suffering the effects of the extinction of these birds today.”
About the Vorombe Titan
Elephant birds are members of the extinct family Aepyornithidae. They were large to enormous flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar and went extinct somewhere around the 13th to 17th centuries. While they were in close geographical proximity to the ostrich, elephant birds’ closest living relatives are kiwi.
In 1894, British scientist C.W. Andrews defined an even larger species, Aepyornis titan, which has usually been dismissed as an unusually large specimen of Aepyornis maximus.
These enormous animals had a body mass of 800 kg and grew up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. Wikipedia claimed [In September 2018, scientists decided that Vorombe titan reached weights of 730 kg (1,600 lb) and stood 3 m (9.8 ft) tall, making it the world’s largest bird, slightly larger than the much older Dromornis stirtoni].
“Without an accurate understanding of past species diversity, we can’t properly understand evolution or ecology in unique island systems such as Madagascar or reconstruct exactly what’s been lost since human arrival on these islands,” Professor Turvey said.
“Knowing the history of biodiversity loss is essential to determine how to conserve today’s threatened species.”
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