(of a bird) having a flat breastbone without a keel, and so unable to fly.
Contrasted with carinate
Any of the mostly large, flightless birds with a ratite breastbone, i.e. the ostrich, rhea, emu, cassowary, and kiwi, together with the extinct moa and elephant bird.
Late 19th century: from Latin ratis ‘raft’ + -ite.
I don’t want to meet a ratite
In the darkest middle of the night.
There is no doubt I might
Just scream aloud in fright.
Really, everything’s all right
There’s not a rat in sight
Though, from the name, I might
Confuse the animal, but not on sight.