The Aepyorniths, commonly known as the Elephant Birds, are a family of large flightless birds that lived on the island of Madagascar during the Pleistocene and Holocene epoch. The last species became extinct about 1.000 - 1.200 CE. The main cause of their extinction is probably due to human activity, like hunting. Although they closely resemble ostriches, their closest remaining relatives are the kiwis.
Distribution & Fossil evidence
Some species of Elephant Bird, like Aepyornis, are very well known and many fossilized bones have been found. Occasionally, fossilized eggs have been found intact, and they were huge! Their skulls show that they were nocturnal, having poor eyesight, just like modern-day kiwis have.
There are three species of Elephant Bird known and all three were large in size. The largest, Vorombe, could reach a height of three meters!
Vorombe, Aepyornis, Mullerornis