ratite(redirected from Ratites)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Ratites: Struthioniformes
Relating to or being any of a group of flightless birds having a flat breastbone without the keellike prominence characteristic of most flying birds.
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.]
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
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]
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]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||ratite - 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
moa - extinct flightless bird of New Zealand