Extremely rare partial eggshell 75mm from the famous Aepyornis giant elephant-bird originating from Madagascar. Elephant birds are members of the extinct ratite family Aepyornithidae, made up of large to enormous flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar. They became extinct, perhaps around 1000–1200 CE, for reasons that are unclear, although human activity is the suspected cause.
Elephant birds comprised the genera Mullerornis, Vorombe and Aepyornis. While they were in close geographical proximity to the ostrich, their closest living relatives are kiwi, suggesting that ratites did not diversify by vicariance during the breakup of Gondwana but instead evolved from ancestors that dispersed more recently by flying.
In September 2018, scientists determined that Vorombe titan reached weights of 730 kg (1,600 lb) and stood 3 m (9.8 ft) tall, making it the world's largest bird, slightly larger than the much older Dromornis stirtoni.