- Aepyornis maximus
- 3 - 3.3/500 dimension(s)
- Madagascar ()
- Extincted 1,000 years ago
The largest bird that ever lived is the elephant bird or vouron patra (Aepyornis maximus) which became extinct about 1,000 years ago (although sightings were reported as late as 1658). This flightless bird from the island of Madagascar grew to around 3-3.3 m (10-11 ft) tall and weighed about 500 kg (1,100 lb).
Almost as tall but not as heavy as the elephant bird was the flightless Dromornis stirtoni, a huge emu-like creature which lived in central Australia between 15 million and 25,000 years ago. Fossil leg bones found near Alice Springs in 1974 indicate that the bird must have stood c.3 m. (10 ft) tall and weighed about 500 kg (1,100 lb).
Only the Moas from New Zealand were taller than the Elephant bird (some reached thirteen feet) but they were not so massively built. The Elephant bird's eggs were larger than those of any dinosaur, and are the largest single cell ever to exist on Earth. They had a liquid capacity of 2.25 gallons, the equivalent of 7 ostrich and 12,000 hummingbird eggs.