Why do the biggest birds all live in the southern hemisphere?

As described in my previous post, DNA and anatomy suggests that large flightless birds, such as ostriches, emus and cassowaries, evolved from a common ancestor shared with tinamous, a group of quail-like birds. These birds, known as palaeognaths, all share a relatively reptilian-like jaw, unlike most other modern birds. Other large-bodied palaeognaths are known from the fossil …

Continue reading Why do the biggest birds all live in the southern hemisphere?

Big birds don’t always flock together

If you had to think of the biggest bird you know, you'd probably conjure up an image of an ostrich (Struthio camelus). If you have some familiarity with Australian fauna, the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) might also come to mind. If you're a bird watching champion back home, you might even know about the cassowaries (Casuarius spp.) and the rheas …

Continue reading Big birds don’t always flock together