Elephant Bird

Extinct Species

By: Abigail Wyatt

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Aepyornis maximus

The elephant bird was the largest bird in the whole world and it is a flightless bird. It was thought to have been 12 feet tall and to weigh half a ton. Their eggs could have been up to three feet in circumfrence.


They lived in the forests of Madagascar. An island off the east coast of Africa.

These animals were herbivores, their diet was one of plants and other vegetation.

Discovery and Extinction

There were documented sightings of the elephant birds in the mid-1600. But, Marco Polo described large birds he encountered on his journeys from 1254-1324. It was thought that these could have been elephant birds. They went extinct sometime before the 1700.
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Probable Causes of Extinction

They were in danger from hunters and nest raiders. As humans started to live and build on the island, about 80% of the forests were cut down. So, another cause would be habitat destruction. We also know that humans coming in carried disease, and there has been thought that it could have played a part in their extinction.

What could have been done...

Either totally stop hunting these flightless birds, or at least limit it. Also with the nest raiders, either stop it or limit it. Whether anything could have been done to prevent diseases from spreading is questionable. Personally I don´t know of anything that could have been done. Last, and probably most important, they should have save the elephant birds habitat. They should not have cut down so much of the forests.
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Hartwell, Sarah. "Elephant Bird." THE MESSYBEAST. May 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. http://messybeast.com/extinct/moa.htm.

Attenborough, David. "The Elephant Bird: Fascinating Facts." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 3 Mar. 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8357534/The-elephant-bird-fascinating-facts.html.

Edwards, Lin. "Elephant Bird Probably Wiped out by Nest Raiders and Habitat Loss." Phys.org. 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. http://phys.org/news/2010-12-elephant-bird-raiders-habitat-loss.html.

"Extinct Elephant Bird Facts." ELEPHANT BIRD FACTS. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. http://extinct-animals-facts.com/Extinct-Animals-List/Extinct-Elephant-Bird-Facts.html.