A ratite is ony o a diverse group o lairge, flichtless birds o the superorder Palaeognathae. Thare is still some controversy regardin the systematics involved. Some soorces state that Ratites are synonymous wi Struthioniformes,[4] while ither soorces state that Ratites are the same group, anly that the order Struthioniformes contains anly the Ostrich an possibly the Elephant Bird.[1][5] Ratites belang tae the modren bird superorder Palaeognathae which consists o ratites an tinamous (compare tae Neognathae).[6] Unlik ither flichtless birds, the ratites hae nae keel on thair sternum – hence the name frae the Laitin ratis (for raft). Wioot this tae anchor thair wing muscles, thay coud nae flee even if thay wur tae develop suitable wings.

Soothren Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Scientific classification e
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Cless: Aves
Superorder: Palaeognathae
Order: Struthioniformes
Latham, 1790[1]

Struthionidae ostrich
Rheidae rhea
Casuariidae cassowary
Dromaiidae emu
Aepyornithidae elephant bird
Dinornithidae moa
Apterygidae kiwi


Gallinae Linnaeus, 1735[2]
Brachypterae Mohr, 1752[2]
Grallae Linnaeus, 1760[2]
Nudipedes Schäffer, 1774[2]
Fissipedes bidactyles Schäffer, 1774[2]
Retipedes Scopoli, 1777[2]
Struthiones Latham, 1790[2][3]
Campestres Illiger, 1811[2]
Cursores Illiger, 1811[3]
Proceri Illiger, 1811[2][3]
Megistanes Vieillot, 1816[2][3]
Brevipennes Cuvier, 1817[3]
Pressirostres Cuvier, 1817[2]
Inertes Temminck, 1820[2]
Ratitae Ranzani, 1823[2]
Rasores Vigors, 1826[2]
Cursitrices MacGillivray, 1840[2]
Grallatores Keyserling & Bl., 1840[2]
Proceres Sunder., 1872[3]

Maist pairts o the umwhile Gondwana Supercontinent hae ratites, or did hae till the fairly recent past. Thair closest livin relatives are the tinamous o Sooth Americae.[7][8]

Some taxonomical seestems consider the various faimilies o ratites tae be orders, but the seestem uised here uises the order "Struthioniformes" tae refer tae aw ratites.

References eedit

  1. a b Brands, Sheila (2008)
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Gray, George Robert (1863)
  3. a b c d e f Salvadori, Tomasso (1895)
  4. ITIS (1996)
  5. Harshman, J. & Brown, J.W. (2010)
  6. Phillips, Matthew (2010). "Tinamous and Moa Flock Together: Mitochondrial Genome Sequence Analysis Reveals Independent Losses of Flight among Ratites". Society of Systematic Biologists. 59 (1): 90–107. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  7. Haddrath, O.; Baker A. (2001)
  8. Cooper, A.; Lalueza-Fox, C.; Anderson, S.; Rambaut, A.; Austin, J.; Ward, R. (2001)