Mullerornis modestus (Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1869)

Elephant bird



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Aepyornis modestus Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1869:314; Mullerornis agilis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894:125; Mullerornis betsilei Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894:125; Mullerornis rudis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894:125


Conservation Status


Last record: Holocene





Biology & Ecology

Collagen values (Joseph & Seymour, 2022).









Original scientific description:

Milne-Edwards, A. and Grandidier, A. (1869). Nouvelles observations sur les caractères zoologiques et les affinités naturelles de l'Aepyornis de Madagascar. J. Acad. Natural Sci. 69: 83-87.

Other references:

Goodman, S. M. (1999). Holocene bird subfossils from the sites of Ampasambazimba, Antsirabe and Ampoza, Madagascar:Changes in the avifauna of south central Madagascar over the past few millennia. In: Adams, N.J. & Slotow, R.H. (eds) Proc. 22 Int. Ornithol. Congr., Durban: 3071-3083. Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa.

Grealy, Alicia et al. (2023). Molecular exploration of fossil eggshell uncovers hidden lineage of giant extinct bird. Nature Communications 14: 914.

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.

Joseph, Grant S. and Seymour, Colleen L. (2022). Are Madagascar's obligate grazing-lawns ancient and evolved with endemic herbivores, or recently selected by introduced cattle? Biology Letters 18: 20220212.

Rothschild, Lionel Walter. (1907). Extinct birds: an attempt to write in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times, that is within the last six or seven hundred years: to which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction. London: Hutchinson & Co. XXIX + 243 pp. [p. 229]

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]


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