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>As to some one else's question/statement that only flightlessness in
>birds is found on islands only. What about Diatryma, Phororhacos,
>Brontornithids, Dryornitthids, Cunampaiidae, Bathornithidae or Cariamia?
>(I don't know if all of them were flighless, but I now the first 4
>were). Did they evolve on an island then move to the mainland? I don't
>know, but, they came from flighted birds.

Both Caraima and Chunga (the living seriemas) can fly, though they don't do it
very often.  However, ostriches did not evolve on islands, nor, probably, did
rheas, dromornithids or emus (counting Australia as a continent).  Even
elephant-birds may have evolved in Africa, though the evidence for this is
equivocal at best.

However, all these birds are large and may have been flighted until they
reached a certain size (perhaps larger than the living Kori Bustard, with the
Mute Swan the heaviest of flying birds today); penguins, steamer-ducks,
flightless grebes and various extinct flightless waterfowl aside, I think it
would be safe to say that all smaller flightless birds alive today (or in the
recent historical past) probably evolved on islands.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net