The order of the Aépyornithiformes gathers the only family of the Aépyornithidés, or bird-elephants (term invented by Marco Polo), which includes/understands two kinds, the † Aepyornis and the † Mullerornis. All the species of this kind are extinct today. They would be at the origin of the legend of the Rokh.
These birds, which lived with Madagascar, are extinct at least since the sixteenth century. The aepyornis was the largest bird of the world, measuring more than three meters in height and weighing close to a semitone.
The National Geographic Society of Washington has an egg of intact of aepyornis, containing a skeleton of a bird nonborn.
It was thought a long time that the extinction of the birds of this family was due to the human action, but a recent study (2000) undertaken by archeologists of the universities of Sheffield and Royal Holloway shows that it is not even known if these birds were driven out for their meat.
List kinds and species
- Aepyornis gracilis Monnier, 1913
- Aepyornis hildebrandti Burckhardt, 1893
- Aepyornis maximus Geoffroy-Saint Hilaire, 1851
- Aepyornis middle finger Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1866
- Mullerornis betsilei Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894
- Mullerornis agilis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894
- Mullerornis rudis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894
- List of the species of birds disappeared
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