The rheas are ratites in the genus Rhea, native to South America. There are two existing species: the Greater or American Rhea and the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea. The genus name was given in 1752 by Paul Möhring and adopted as the English common name. Möhring's named the rhea based on the Greek titan Rhea, whose name is derived from the Greek Rhea ('Ρέα) by metathesis from έρα "ground". This was fitting, the rhea being a flightless ground bird.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Rhea.


1894 ? A third species of rhea, Rhea nana, was described by Lydekker in 1894 based on a single egg found in Patagonia, but today no major authorities consider it valid. … Read More
1987 ? Rheas have many uses in South America. Feathers are used for feather dusters, skins are used for cloaks or leather, and their meat is a staple to many people. The Rhea is pictured on the coinage of Argentina's 1 Centavo coin minted in 1987.
2008 ? Rhea pennata was not always in the Rhea genus. In 2008 the SACC, the last holdout, approved the merging of the genera, Rhea and Pterocnemia on August 7, 2008. … Read More
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