Aepyornis is one of two genera of extinct large flightless birds
(ratites) that were native to Madagascar,
and became extinct by the 17th century. It is not clear if they
became extinct because of human hunting, human egg collecting,
climate change, diseases brought to the island by introduced
species such as chickens and guineafowl, or because of
some combination of these reasons.
The largest Aepyornis were very large, about 10 feet (3 meters)
tall and weighing as much as ½ ton. Likewise, its eggs
are also very large, over 1 foot (30 centimeters) long,
and over 3 feet (1 meter) in circumference.
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