ratite

ratite

[rat-ahyt]
adjective
1.
having a flat, unkeeled sternum, as an ostrich, cassowary, emu, or moa.
noun
2.
a bird having a ratite breastbone.

Origin:
1875–80; < Latin rat(is) raft + -ite2

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World English Dictionary
ratite (ˈrætaɪt)
 
adj
1.  (of flightless birds) having a breastbone that lacks a keel for the attachment of flight muscles
2.  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.  a bird, such as an ostrich, kiwi, or rhea, that belongs to this group; a flightless bird
 
[C19: from Latin ratis raft]

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