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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Palaeognathae
Ordo: †Aepyornithiformes

Familia: †Mullerornithidae
Genus: †Mullerornis
Species: † M. agilis – † M. betsilei – † M. grandis – † M. rudis
secundum Hansford & Turvey, 2018
Taxonavigation: Palaeognathae

Ordo: Struthioniformes
Familia: †Aepyornithidae
Genus: †Mullerornis
Species: † M. modestus

Mullerornis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894: 125

Flacourtia Andrews, 1895: 25 [Hansford & Turvey 2018: 20]

Georges Muller BHL
Primary references

Milne-Edwards, A. & Grandidier, A. 1894. Observations sur les Aepyornis de Madagascar. C. r. hebd. séances Acad. sci. 118: 122–127. BHL Reference page.

Additional references

Angst, D. & Buffetaut, E. 2017. Palaeobiology of Giant Flightless Birds. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISBN 978-1-78548-136-9. DOI: 10.1016/C2015-0-06179-2 Reference page.
Hansford, J.P. & Turvey, S.T. 2018. Unexpected diversity within the extinct elephant birds (Aves: Aepyornithidae) and a new identity for the world’s largest bird. Royal Society Open Science 5: 181295. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181295 Reference page.

Mullerornis is a genus of extinct elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) of Madagascar.


Mullerornis is smaller than the more well-known Aepyornis.[2][3] A bone possibly belonging to Mullerornis has been radiocarbon dated to about 1260 BP,[4] suggesting that the animal was still extant at the end of the first millennium.[5] Aepyornis modestus was shown by Hansford and Turvey (2018) to be a senior synonym of all nominal Mullerornis species described by Milne-Edwards and Grandidier (1894), resulting in the new combination Mullerornis modestus.[6]


Like other aepyornithids and its close kiwi relatives, Mullerornis was nocturnal, though it shows less optical lobe reduction than these other taxa, implying slightly more crepuscular habits.[7]

The genus is named after Georges Muller, a French explorer, who was killed in 1892 by hostile members of the Sakalava people.
Synonyms of Mullerornis modestus

Mullerornis betsilei Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894[8] (Betsile elephant-bird)
Mullerornis agilis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894 (Agile/coastal elephant-bird)
Mullerornis rudis Milne-Edwards & Grandidier, 1894[1] (Robust elephant-bird)
?Mullerornis grandis Lamberton 1934 (holotype destroyed in a fire in 1995)


Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
Burney, et al. (1997), p. 763
MacPhee, et al. (1985), table II
Burney, et al. (2004), p. 50
Burney et al. (2004), p. 25
Hansford, J. P.; Turvey, S. T. (2018-09-26). "Unexpected diversity within the extinct elephant birds (Aves: Aepyornithidae) and a new identity for the world's largest bird". Royal Society Open Science. 5 (9): 181295. doi:10.1098/rsos.181295.
Christopher R. Torres & Julia A. Clarke. 2018. Nocturnal giants: evolution of the sensory ecology in elephant birds and other palaeognaths inferred from digital brain reconstructions. Proc. R. Soc. B 285 (1890); doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1540

Julian P. Hume; Michael Walters (2012). Extinct birds. T&AD Poyser. p. 544. ISBN 978-1408158616.

Burney, David A.; James, Helen F.; Grady, Frederick V.; Rafamantanantsoa, Jean-Gervais; Ramilisonina; Wright, Henry T.; Cowart, James B. (1997). "Environmental change, extinction and human activity: Evidence from caves in NW Madagascar" (PDF). Journal of Biogeography. 24 (6): 755–767. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.1997.00146.x. hdl:2027.42/75139.
Burney, David A.; Burney, Lida Pigott; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Jungers, William L.; Goodman, Steven M.; Wright, Henry T.; Jull, A. J. Timothy (2004). "A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar". Journal of Human Evolution. 47 (1–2): 25–63. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.05.005. PMID 15288523.
Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003). "Elephant birds". In Hutchins, Michael (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 103–104. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0.
MacPhee, R. D. E.; Burney, David A.; Wells, N. A. (1985). "Early Holocene chronology and environment of Ampasambazimba, a Malagasy subfossil lemur site". International Journal of Primatology. 6 (5): 463–489. doi:10.1007/BF02735571. S2CID 44449535.

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