Ex Libris Vorompatra


Alexander, R. McNeill: Dynamics of Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Giants (Columbia University Press, 1989) -- an interesting discussion of the structural price paid for gigantism, in regard to both skeleton and egg shell, which you can read here.

Balouet, Jean-Christophe: Extinct Species of the World: Lessons for our Future (Charles Letts & Co., 1990) -- a sobering portrait collection of animals lost for all time; read the section on the Vorompatra here.

Brooke, Michael, and Tim Birkhead (editors): the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology (Cambridge University Press, 1991) -- a quick survey of ratites, and some interesting information about eggs talking to each other (yes, you read that right!) can be read by clicking here.

Chatterjee, Sankar: the Rise of Birds (the Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) -- a discussion of ratite phylogeny and the effect of Man on island species which you can read here.

Davies, S.J.J.F.: Ratites and Tinamous (Oxford University Press, 2002) -- a beautifully-illustrated survey of extant Palaeognathus birds, with a brief entry about elephant birds, chiefly a roster of species designations.

Day, David: Vanished Species (Gallery Books, 1989) -- another collection of extinct animals, although limited to more recent extinctions; read the section on the "Vouron Patra" here.

Dixon, Dougal, Barry Cox, R.J.G. Savage, and Brian Gardiner: the Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals: a Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life (Macmillan, 1988) -- great all-around reference. Read their description of the Vorompatra here.

Feduccia, Alan: the Origin and Evolution of Birds (Yale University Press, 1996) -- a rather extensive chapter is devoted to "the Evolution of Flightlessness"; click here to read the section on the "elephantbirds".

Fuller, Errol: Extinct Birds (Facts on File Publications, 1987) -- Read this selection on the "vouroupatra" by clicking here.

Grzimek, Dr. Dr.h.c. Bernhard (editor-in-chief): Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975) -- A short entry on elephant birds written by Dr. Erich Thenius, which you can read by clicking here.

Heuvelmans, Bernard: On the Track of Unknown Animals (Kegan Paul International, 1995) -- his detailed account of Europe's gradual discovery of the Vorompatra can be read here.

Lucas, Frederic A.: Animals of the Past: An Account of Some of the Creatures of the Ancient World (Lancaster Press for the American Museum of Natural History Handbook Seroes, #4, 1929) -- this interesting account of the bird has held up over time: the first edition was published in 1901.

Marden, Luis: Madagascar, Island at the End of the Earth, National Geographic Vol. 132 No. 4 (Washington DC, October 1967) -- One of the author's goals was to procure a complete Aepyornis egg--click here to read the article.

an update about Luis' egg at the University of Texas website.

McClurg, Robert M.: Last of the Wild: Vanished and Vanishing Giants of the Animal World (Linnet Books, 1997) -- A quick survey of the settlement of Madagascar & the subsequent "discovery" by Europeans; read how this affected the "vouron-patra" here.

Perrins, Christopher, and C.J.O. Harrison: Birds: Their Life, Their Ways, Their World (Reader's Digest, 1979) -- A comprehensive survey with many illustrations; read their section on the Vorompatra here.

Quammen, David: The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions (Simon & Schuster, 1996) -- Why do island-bound elephants get small, while island-bound pigeons get large & flightless? This book explains these things, and much else besides; click here to read what he has to say about ratites.

__________: Ratite Evolution: An Overview, Emu Today & Tomorrow Issue 1, Volume 7 (January 1997) -- An essay you can read here.

Steel, Rodney, & Anthony Harvey (editors): The Encyclopedia of Prehistoric Life (McGraw-Hill, 1979) -- Another handy all-around reference; cross-indexed. Read their entry on ratites here.

Swinton, W.E.: Fossil Birds (Burgess & Son, 1975) -- a booklet written for the British Museum (Natural History), with selections about elephant-birds and ratite evolution that you can read here.

Thomson, Sir A. Landsborough (editor): A New Dictionary of Birds (McGraw-Hill, 1964) -- Somewhat dated, but still essentially correct: read the entry on "Elephant-Bird" here.

Tyson, Peter: the Eighth Continent: Life, Death, and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar (HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2000) -- An interesting guide to the history of the island, from which you can read about Vorompatra here.

Wells, H.G.: "Aepyornis Island" (Pall Mall Budget, 13 December 1894) -- Sure, the bird here doesn't QUITE conform to what we know about Vorompatra, but what the heck? It's H.G. Wells! Read his short story by clicking here.

Wetmore, Alexander: Re-creating Madagascar's Giant Extinct Bird, National Geographic Vol. 132 No. 4 (Washington DC, October 1967) -- Interesting reconstruction with an emphasis on relating the Vorompatra to the Ostrich--click here to read the article.


Suggest a useful addition to this list by sending me




1