Reduction of the number of toes (the fifth shows no traces whatever, not even in Archaeopteryx) begins with the hallux, which is completely or partly absent in many birds; the second toe is absent in Struthio only.
In the ostrich, Struthio, the craze of overloading the stomach with pebbles which, when triturated into sand, are not voided, has brought about a dislocation, so that the enormously widened and stretched space between proventriculus and gizzard forms a bag, directed downwards, whilst the gizzard itself with part of the duodenum is rotated round its axis to more than loo°.
Ostriches, undistinguishable from Struthio, have been found in Samos and in the Sivalik Hills.
From Samos a large stork, Amphipelargus, and a typical Struthio; from the Sivalik Hills on the southern flanks of the Himalayas also an ostrich, and another Ratite with three toes, Hypselornis, as well as Leptoptilus, Pelecanus and Phalacrocorax.
All the existing Ratitae (with the exception of the ostriches of Africa and South America, belonging to the genera Struthio and Rhea, and comprising at most but five species) are found in Austrogaea and nowhere else.