One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very large flightless bird of the Eocene epoch.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Given its huge size, Gastornis must have been a silent ambush hunter in the thick forests.’
- ‘Widely different opinions have been offered since the first discovery of Gastornis in 1855.’
- ‘Another forest dweller at that time was Gastornis, a flightless bird as tall as a man and weighing some 100 kilograms.’
- ‘Unfortunately, while the Gastornis is out hunting, a horde of large ants (known as Formicium) ambush its baby.’
Modern Latin, from the name of the French scientist Gaston Planté (1834–89), who found the first specimen, + Greek ornis ‘bird’.
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