Ratite Birds


Many of the flightless birds in the world belong to what is called a Ratite group. The trait they share in common is a flat breastbone without a keel on the sternum, known as a ratite breastbone. This anatomical feature prevents them from being able to fly. Generally speaking, the following Kinds have similarities which might suggest a larger grouping, but no hybridization data is known to support that concept.

Distribution is not from Gondwana Breakup

Evolutionary concepts generally try to explain geographically distant groups of related animals to the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. This was assumed to be true with the ratite birds. This implied that the closest relative of the extinct Elephant birds should be the ostrich, the Moa with the Kiwi, and the Rhea with the Emu and Tinamou. Instead, a recent genetic study shows that the Elephant Bird is closest to the Kiwi, the Moa with the Tinamou, and the Rhea with the Ostrich and Emu. This effectively closes the possibility that continental drift was the cause of current ratite bird locations.R

Flightless Bird Kinds

Apterygidibar – Kiwi Kind – Reside in New Zealand.
Casuariidibar – Cassowary Kind – Reside in the Australo-Papuan region.
Dromaiidibar – Emu Kind – Reside in Australia.
Rheidibar – Rhea Kind -Reside in South America.
Struthonibar – Ostrich Kind – Reside in Africa.
Tinimidibar – Tinimou Kind – Central and South America.


  • Mitchel, K., Llamas, B., Soubier, J., et al. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. Science 23 May 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6186 pp. 898-900 DOI: 10.1126/science.1251981
  • XXXVIIIC1. Last Updated: 14/01/2016
    Todd Elder

    Todd Elder

    Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
    Todd Elder

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