An illustration of Elephant birds, which belonged to the same family as the ostrich.
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For 60 million years the colossal, flightless elephant bird Aepyornis maximus stalked the Savannah and rainforests of Madagascar until it was hunted to extinction around 1,000 years ago.A study released Wednesday by British scientists suggests that one species of elephant bird was even larger than previously thought, with a specimen weighing an estimated 860 kilograms about the same as a fully grown giraffe.Until now, the largest-ever elephant bird was described in 1894 by the British scientist C.W. Andrews as Aepyornis titan a larger species of Aepyornis maximus.Named Vorombe titan Malagasy for "big bird" the creature would have stood at least 3 meters tall, and had an average weight of 650 kilograms, making it the largest bird genus yet uncovered.
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