Big Birds Can’t Fly

Big Birds in Perspective

Ratites are a group of mostly flightless birds that come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The name ratite derives from the word Latin word ratis or raft, referring to their flat breast bones that lack the sharp keel found in flying birds. The largest and most famous species living today is the African ostrich. However, it is dwarfed by the extinct elephant birds of Madagascar that may have stood 10 feet tall (3 meters) and and weighed as much as 1100 pounds (500 kilograms). The smallest members of the group are the tiny tinamous of Central and South America that barely stand eye-to-eye with a chicken.

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Here is a smaller animated version for mobile devices or sharing on social media platforms:

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Designer – Karen Brazell
Producer – Eric R. Olson