Fossil Friday: Elephant Bird

An elephant bird egg from the collection of the DLC’s Division of Fossil Primates. One of the largest dinosaur eggs ever is only a few centuries old!

Today is our first Fossil Friday, courtesy of Matt Borths, our new Curator of the DLC’s Division of Fossil Primates! This week we’re featuring… ELEPHANT BIRDS!

A new species of elephant bird was announced this week: https://www.livescience.com/63675-worlds-largest-bird-is-vo…. Only a few hundred years ago, Madagascar was home to the largest bird ever known: Vorombe titan! This new genus of elephant bird, whose name means “big bird” in Malagasy, lived alongside the same lemur species we have at the DLC before it went extinct. We have elephant bird bones and shells in the fossil collection at the DLC. With this new study we may find out some of our specimens belong to Vorombe! New discoveries about ancient extinctions in Madagascar can help our conservation team understand and preserve the incredible ecosystems found in modern Madagascar.

An artist’s interpretation of an elephant bird and chick. Copyright Jaime Chirinos, 2009.

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