The Karam of the New Guinea Highlands identify bats and flying birds as one classification (yaket), and the Dwarf Cassowary, an extremely large wingless, flightless bird as another classification (kobtiy). Whereas yaket are bony with wings and fly in the air, kobtiy are bony without wings and are terrestrial and of the forest. Kobtiy are different from other bony wingless animals in that the kobtiy are not quadrupedal, like dogs and lizards, and are not limbless, like snakes.
John Gould first identified the Dwarf Cassowary from a specimen from New Britain, in 1857
|Male and Female Dwarf Cassowaries, Males are |
About three feet tall, females are larger, up to 4 1/2 feet.
It is a large, at between 99 to 135 cm (3.2 to 4.4 ft) tall and 18 kilograms (39.7 lb), flightless bird with hard and stiff black plumage, a low triangular casque, pink cheek and red patches of skin on its blue neck. The feet are large and powerful, equipped with dagger-like claws on the inner toe. Both sexes are similar. Females have longer casques, brighter bare skin color and are larger in size.
Range and habitat: The Dwarf Cassowary is distributed throughout mountain forests of New Guinea, New Britain and Yapen Island, at elevations up to 3300 m (10,826.8 ft). In areas without other species of cassowaries, it will live in the lowlands also. Its diet consists mainly of fallen fruits and small animals, and insects. A solitary bird, it pairs only in breeding season Conservation Due to ongoing habitat loss, habitat degradation, being hunted for food, and often being kept in captivity, the Dwarf Cassowary is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with an occurrence range of 258000 km² (99,614.4 sq mi).
BirdLife Species Factsheet
That is probably more literally true than the author meant to say, or at least it was more true in the past. Among the varieties of animals domesticated in the Lemurian realm (which includes the Indian elephant and Water buffalo), we must also include their "Big Chickens", the small cassowaries which they managed to transport over thousands of miles of sea in their boats.
Best Wishes, Dale D.