Definition of Gastornis in English:



  • A very large flightless bird of the Eocene epoch.

    • ‘Given its huge size, Gastornis must have been a silent ambush hunter in the thick forests.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, while the Gastornis is out hunting, a horde of large ants (known as Formicium) ambush its baby.’
    • ‘Another forest dweller at that time was Gastornis, a flightless bird as tall as a man and weighing some 100 kilograms.’
    • ‘Large flightless birds have been found in later Paleocene rocks in some parts of the world, like Gastornis in Europe, and could have hunted mammals.’
    • ‘Widely different opinions have been offered since the first discovery of Gastornis in 1855.’


Modern Latin, from the name of the French scientist Gaston Planté (1834–89), who found the first specimen, + Greek ornis ‘bird’.