Belongs within: Palaeognathae. The genus Struthio includes the ostrich S. camelus of Africa and its fossil relatives. The ostrich is readily distinguished from other living birds by its gigantic size and the presence of only two toes on the foot. Fossil species of Struthio are also known from Eurasia. Most authors have recognised only a… Continue reading Struthio


Belongs within: Palaeognathae. The Tinamidae, tinamous, are superficially partridge-like birds found in South America. They are the only living flighted members of the palaeognath clade. Tinamous are small to medium-sized, plump terrestrial birds with short, strong legs and a rudimentary tail (Internet Bird Collection). They are ground nesters with males largely responsible for caring for… Continue reading Tinamidae


Belongs within: Ornithurae.Contains: Struthio, Apteryx, Aepyornithidae, Casuariiformes, Dinornithiformes, Tinamidae. The Palaeognathae are a clade of birds found primarily on the southern continents, including the ratites and tinamous. Members of this clade are united by the lack of fusion between the maxillar process of the nasal bone and the maxillary bone, as well as the flat… Continue reading Palaeognathae


Belongs within: Palaeognathae. The Dinornithiformes, moas, are a group of moderately to extremely large flightless birds known from New Zealand (an historical record of a species from Australia was based on a specimen of mislabelled provenance) that became extinct following human colonisation of the region. Leg or breast? Published 24 September 2007 This page’s subject… Continue reading Dinornithiformes


Belongs within: Palaeognathae. The Aepyornithidae, elephantbirds, are a group of large, flightless birds found until relatively recently on Madagascar that included the heaviest birds known to have existed. <==Aepyornithidae [Aepyornithiformes, Aepyornithoidea] |–MullerornisWH02 | |–M. agilis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier 1894U93 | |–M. betsilei Milne-Edwards & Grandidier 1894U93 | |–M. grandisWH02 | `–M. rudis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier… Continue reading Aepyornithidae


Belongs within: Palaeognathae. The Casuariiformes are an Australasian clade of large flightless birds including the emus (Dromaius) and cassowaries (Casuarius). The emu Dromaius novaehollandiae is an inhabitant of open habitats in mainland Australia, while the less cursorial cassowaries are found in thick forest in New Guinea and northern Queensland. Cassowaries have mostly black plumage with… Continue reading Casuariiformes