The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Aepyornis hildebrandti Burckhardt, 1893:127

Hildebrandt's elephant bird



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Aepyornis lentus Milne-Edwards and Grandidier, 1894, p. 124; Aepyornis gracilis Monnier, 1913, p. 15


Conservation Status






Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Burckhardt, R. (1893). Über Aepyornis. Paläontologische Abhandlungen 2(6): 127-145.


Other references:

Angst, Delphine and Buffetaut, Eric. (Due October 2017). Palaeobiology of Extinct Giant Flightless Birds. ISTE Press.

Brodkorb, Pierce. (1963). Catalogue of fossil birds. Part 1 (Archaeopterygiformes through Ardeiformes). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 7, 4: 179-293.

Endo, H. et al. (2012). Coxa Morphologically Adapted to Large Egg in Aepyornithid Species Compared with Various Palaeognaths. Anatomia Histologia Embryologia 41(1): 31-40. [Abstract]

Hansford, James P. and Turvey, Samuel T. (2018). Unexpected diversity within the extinct elephant birds (Aves: Aepyornithidae) and a new identity for the world's largest bird. R. Soc. open sci. 5: 181295.

Hansford, James P. et al. (2018). Early Holocene human presence in Madagascar evidenced by exploitation of avian megafauna. Science Advances 4(9): eaat6925.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.

Lambrecht, Kàlmàn. (1933). Handbuch der Palaeornithologie. Gebrüder Borntraeger, Berlin. 1024 pp.

Mitchell, Kieren J., Llamas, Bastien, Soubrier, Julien, Rawlence, Nicolas J., Worthy, Trevor H., Wood, Jamie, Lee, Michael S. Y. and Cooper, Alan. (2014). Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. Science 344(6186): 898-900.

Milne-Edwards, A. and Grandidier, A. (1894). Observations sur les Aepyornis de Madagascar. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences 118: 122-127.

Torres, Christopher R. and Clarke, Julia A. (2018). Nocturnal giants: evolution of the sensory ecology in elephant birds and other palaeognaths inferred from digital brain reconstructions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1540 [Abstract]

Worthy, Trevor H. (2009). Fossil Birds. In: Gillespie, R., Clague, D. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Islands. Encyclopedias of the Natural World, No. 2. University of California Press.


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