Vorombe Titan: The elephant bird was too gigantic to survive!
The largest living bird on earth lived in Madagascar 10,500 years ago.
Scientists, including Dr. James Hansfor, called him Vorombe titanium. Unable to fly, this feathered mastodon could weigh up to 850 kg and grow 3 meters long.
In the 19th and 20th centuries there was some confusion among scientists in England and France about the existence of the largest bird in the world, this confusion led to an unsuccessful study of birds.
That was until Dr. James Hansford of the London Institute of Zoology Announced his research in 2013... In a study published in September 2018 in the Royal Society Open Science was published, came Dr. James Hansford and his colleague Dr. Samuel Turvey concluded that the Vorombe Titan is the largest bird in the world. "I conducted a study on the diversity of elephant birds to see how many species there are.
For this purpose, I measured many leg bones found in museums in Europe, the United States, and Madagascar. One of the measurements I made was the circumference of the femur or thigh bone, which can be used to estimate the weight of the birds.
Fossil bones of the vorombe titan
The circumferences of the Vorombe Titan's femurs are larger than any other bird on record, making them the largest birds in the world," says Dr. James Hansford.
Titan? The Vorombe weighed 650 kg, could even reach 850 kg and measured almost three meters from head to tail.
Although some of the extinct New Zealand birds called Moa are as large as the Titan Vorombe, the bones of the Titan Vorombe are much larger and stronger, suggesting that it was much heavier than the Moa.
It also surpasses the also native to Madagascar. Aepyornis maximus, which the scientist C.W. Andrews Described in 1894 as the largest bird in the world. "In fact, they are elephant birds of the same family, but the titan differs markedly from Aepyornis maximus and Aepyornis hilbebrandti.
So we had to give it its own species name, Titan, but also its own genus name, Vorombe. "Currently, scientists have only recognized four elephant bird species, but there could be more: Vorombe titan, Aepyornis maximus, Aepyornis hildebrandti, and Mullerornis modestus.
These birds were found in the South of Madagascar, on the west coast near Belo-sur-Mer and in Antsirabe found
The study of the fossil bones of these birds also led to the conclusion that humans were present on the island 10,500 years ago, 6,000 years earlier than we thought!
The bones have fractures and cuts that are not due to natural injuries. According to Patricia Wright, primatologist and anthropologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, this discovery calls into question the arrival of the first humans in Madagascar.
"Although these birds may have survived into the 17th century, radiocarbon records indicate that they disappeared about 1,000 years ago.
This coincides with archaeological records of rapid population growth and expansion of colonies.
It is likely that hunting and changes in land use on agricultural pastures have led to their extinction," says Dr. Hansford.
This discovery is an important topic for the understanding of the Biodiversity of Madagascar.
These birds evolved on the Big Island over millions of years, much more than the lemurs, so they would have developed unique and important ecological associations with plants and contributed to the island's ecozone.
"They probably played an important role in the reproduction and dispersal of large seeds through their consumption.
Scientists have suspected that the emblematic Baobabs could have been spread across the island by elephant birds.
Without them, they are now more vulnerable to climate change, which would lead to their extinction.