Malagasy birds are, for the most part, the same as or similar to their cousins in Africa.  However, there are some Madagascar-endemic birds, many of them quite strange.
    The Rociform birds are a group of large to enormous predatory birds that evolved from early ciconiiforms native to Madagascar. Their ancestors seem to have eaten amphibians, small reptiles and mammals. At some point one species specialized in the young of  the early hoplocrocs, starting the evolutionary line leading to modern rocs. Today there are several roc species in Madagascar specialized in different kinds of prey from juvenile hoplocrocs to lemurs. Rocs have also spread to Africa, leading some new forms.

                           Roc wingspans:
                           Rukh: 5.5 m
                           Lemur roc: 1.8 m
                           Vulture roc: 3 m
                           Rongo: 4 m

[There are unreliable eyewitness reports of an enormous pterosaur-like animal dubbed Congomatu living in Africa. This might either be a real survivor from the Miocene, or a previously unknown species of roc. Or a really, really big bat.].

(Text by Matti Aumala)
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