Vorompatra Depictions

We don't really know what the Vorompatra looked like: a general reconstruction is possible to extrapolate from the skeletal remains, but the appearance of the flesh & feathers is subject to speculation. These images were found on the web, and the links to their respective sites are included out of a sense of "fair play" on my part. Generally, there's little additional information to be had from these sources. However, some are written in languages I can't read: if you can translate the text & are willing to do so, please let me know so I can make them available for the English-speaking ratite enthusiast (and you know who you are...)

click to see larger image

AT LEFT is John Conway's interpretation, based on illustrations in Greg Paul's Dinosaurs of the Air. Visit John's website to see other examples of his work.

AT RIGHT is Ville Sinkkonen's depiction of Vorompatra. Visit Ville's website to see his works.

Ville's Vorompatra

Trevor Boyer's depiction

(LEFT) By way of the Discovery Channel School is Trevor Boyer's illustration for the World Book Online.

(RIGHT) A Brooke Bond tea trading card from the 1972 50-card series " Prehistoric Animals."

Tea bird

Merit's mention
(LEFT) This depiction was submitted by a thoughtful reader who saw it had not been included here: he says it's from the Merit Student Encyclopedia, published 1967-1969.


(RIGHT) From a Czech site, Vladimir Zadrazíl's image closely resembles Eric Alibert's picture in Extinct Species of the World.

Vladimir Zadrazil's Aepyornis

DANISH: Elefantfugle

(No current sites available)

Dutch treat
DUTCH: Olifantsvogel

(LEFT) A full-scale model and one happy boy beside it (see? Ratites are for kids, too!) Also available are some behind-the-scenes construction pictures of this statue.
GERMAN: Elefantenvogel

I have subjected this website to an automated translator, just to enjoy the wildly unpredictable results of these applications; as I'd've guessed, it's pretty basic info about Vorompatra, but you can click here to remind yourself why you should take automatic language translation with a grain of salt...

HUNGARIAN: elefántmadár

Here's a short paragraph which (for all that I can read Hungarian) may be derived entirely from the quoted source, Jean-Christophe Balouet's Extinct Species of the World.
Elephant Bird & a whole lot Moa

ITALIAN: Struzzi del Madagascar ("Madagascar Ostrich")

(RIGHT) This page depicts extinct ratites ; the picture on the right is clearly adapted from Ad Cameron's illustration for Birds: Their Life, Their Ways, Their World (a color version of this particular Vorompatra [to the right of the Giant Moa] can be seen at that link).

JAPANESE: ehiorunisu

(LEFT) My current "mascot" is this fellow, which image I found at the World of Zoology site. Kinjo University has an Aepyornis webpage.
......................................... 'Fluffy'
POLISH: struś madagaskarski

(RIGHT) This image is from a now-extinct Polish website--note the hallux on each foot, which may mean it depicts a smaller species than A. maximus.
(LEFT) This image appears on a Polish website of extinct animals: it appears to be derived of Maurice Wilson's cover illustration for W.E. Swinton's Fossil Birds.
'Wet Paint!'
(RIGHT) This image was created for an upcoming version of this Polish on-line encyclopedia: this digital "painting" is based on John Conway's reconstruction. The researcher had this to say about the Polish name for Vorompatra...

"The Polish names for Aepyornis are: struś madagaskarski (plural: strusie madagaskarskie, would also mean the family Aepyornithidae) [literally: "Madagascar's ostrich"], epiornis (pl.: epiornisy) [a phonetic simplification of the Latin name], or, recently coined by Polish ornithologists, mamutak (pl. mamutaki) [a combination of mamut (mammoth) and ptak (bird), thus evoking a "mammoth bird" association, perhaps better than the English "elephant bird" (non naked skin, Pleistocene)]."

SERBO-CROATIAN: ptica-slon / ptica slona

No picture here, but this Croatian website is half in English; in fact, the text was borrowed from Steve's Vouron Patra site (and if he can live with it, so can I).

'Retrospective' SPANISH
(No current sites available)
SWEDISH: Madagaskarstrutsen ("Madagascar Ostrich")

(LEFT) The short blurb seems pretty basic, but my command of Swedish isn't very good...

Suggest an additional link by sending me