ratite


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Related to ratite: Tinamous

rat·ite

 (răt′īt′)
adj.
Relating to or being any of a group of flightless birds having a flat breastbone without the keellike prominence characteristic of most flying birds.
n.
A ratite bird, such as the ostrich or emu.

[From Latin ratītus, marked with the figure of a raft (in reference to the lack of the keellike prominence), from ratis, raft.]

ratite

(ˈrætaɪt)
adj
1. (Zoology) (of flightless birds) having a breastbone that lacks a keel for the attachment of flight muscles
2. (Zoology) of or denoting the flightless birds, formerly classified as a group (the Ratitae), that have a flat breastbone, feathers lacking vanes, and reduced wings
n
3. (Animals) a bird, such as an ostrich, kiwi, or rhea, that belongs to this group; a flightless bird
4. (Zoology) a bird, such as an ostrich, kiwi, or rhea, that belongs to this group; a flightless bird
[C19: from Latin ratis raft]

rat•ite

(ˈræt aɪt)

adj.
1. having a flat, unkeeled sternum, as an ostrich, cassowary, emu, or moa.
n.
2. a bird having a ratite sternum.
[1875–80; < Latin rat(is) raft + -ite2]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ratite - flightless birds having flat breastbones lacking a keel for attachment of flight muscles: ostrichesratite - flightless birds having flat breastbones lacking a keel for attachment of flight muscles: ostriches; cassowaries; emus; moas; rheas; kiwis; elephant birds
bird - warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings
Struthio camelus, ostrich - fast-running African flightless bird with two-toed feet; largest living bird
cassowary - large black flightless bird of Australia and New Guinea having a horny head crest
Dromaius novaehollandiae, Emu novaehollandiae, emu - large Australian flightless bird similar to the ostrich but smaller
apteryx, kiwi - nocturnal flightless bird of New Zealand having a long neck and stout legs; only surviving representative of the order Apterygiformes
Rhea americana, rhea - larger of two tall fast-running flightless birds similar to ostriches but three-toed; found from Brazil to Patagonia
nandu, Pterocnemia pennata, rhea - smaller of two tall fast-running flightless birds similar to ostriches but three-toed; found from Peru to Strait of Magellan
aepyornis, elephant bird - huge (to 9 ft.) extinct flightless bird of Madagascar
moa - extinct flightless bird of New Zealand
carinate, carinate bird, flying bird - birds having keeled breastbones for attachment of flight muscles
References in periodicals archive ?
The kiwi is the smallest Ratite, a category of flightless bird species.
Biologists in the 1970s debated whether the kiwi and other flightless ratite birds arose when flightless common ancestors drifted apart by riding on landmasses that fragmented and separated.
The team was able to use the elephant bird DNA to estimate when the ratite species had separated from each other.
Indeed, while Ratite is no doubt right to emphasize the philosophical contributions of these philosophical works, Abhinava sometimes speaks in a theological register in the TIN and IPVV, even though Utpala essentially avoids doing so in his IPK and IPV.
Ratite and ungulate preferences for woody New Zealand plants: influence of chemical and physical traits.
Its ratite relatives (other large flightless birds), including the Australian emu and South American rhea, possess three toes while all other bird species have four.
ETYMOLOGY: This species is named for the crest on the head that is reminiscent of the spectacular ratite of tropical Queensland and Papua New Guinea, the cassowary.
The cassowary is the third largest flightless bird in the ratite family.
For more information on prevention options for ratite owners, contact your veterinarian.
But catching the large escaped ratite (flightless bird)--second in size only to fellow Australian native, the ostrich--is no trip to the zoo.
Emu oil is a great skin conditioner," says Jan Smith, director of the Ratite Sexing Service in Massachusetts.
But the ratite family, from large ostriches to small kiwis, were considered to be an exception to this rule.