Vorombe titan (Andrews, 1894)
Vorombe is one of three genera of elephant birds, an extinct family of large ratite birds endemic to Madagascar. Specimens belonging to the genus include the heaviest known birds, and were originally considered to be large Aepyornis specimens. The genus was erected in 2018 after a detailed morphometric analysis.
Vorombe titan was first described by Charles William Andrews as Aepyornis titan in 1894. It was synonymized with the type species of Aepyornis, A. maximus, by American paleontologist Pierce Brodkorb in 1963. In 2018, James Hansford and Samuel Turvey, two researchers from the Zoological Society of London, found that it was sufficiently distinct from Aepyornis and allocated it in the new genus Vorombe. They also recognized Aepyornis ingens as a synonym of V. titan. The study by Hansford and Turvey is the first taxonomic reassessment of elephant birds in over 50 years.
The genus name Vorombe is derived from the Malagasy word vorombe meaning "big bird" while the specific name titan is derived from the Ancient Greek word Τιτάν (Titan), which refers to the Greek gods that preceded the Twelve Olympians.