(Rheidae; Ϯ Greater Rhea R. americana) Gr. myth. Rhea, daughter of Gaia and Uranus, and mother to Zeus and the gods  < ῥεω rheō  to flow, because rivers flow from Earth (γαια gaia  Earth). The relevance of this epithet is unknown, although it may reflect the humorous juxtaposition of Rhea, the Great Mother, with the Ostrich, the Great Bird, in Aristophanes’ comedy Ornithes (The Birds). Valdés Chadwick 2016, recalls the myth of Cronon and Rhea, his sister and wife. Troubled by prophecy Cronon devoured his new-born children, with the exception of Zeus whom Rhea replaced with a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Cronon swallowed the offering, and, by association, it is noted that rheas, and other struthious birds, swallow stones and pebbles as an aid to digestion. "Amerikaanse Struis. Rhea.  ...  AMERIKAANSE STRUIS, in 't Latyn Rhea."(Moehring 1758); "Le genre du Thouyou.(1)  ...  (1) Thouyou, nom forme de Thouyouyou, qui est celui que les Indiens de la Guiane donnent à l'espèce de ce genre.  ...  Genus Rheæ.(1)  ...  (1) Rhea, nomen a Moehringio huic generi inditum" (Brisson 1760); ex "Avis Eme" of Aldrovandus 1599-1603, "Struthio" and "Yandou" of de Laët 1633, "Nhandu-guacu" of Marcgrave 1648, and Piso 1658, "Struthio-Camelus" of Jonston 1650-1653, "Emeu nigricans" of Barrère 1745, "Rhea" of Moehring 1758, and Struthio Americanus Linnaeus, 1758; "Rhea Brisson, Orn., 1, 1760, p. 46; 5, 1760, p. 8. Type, by monotypy, Struthio americanus Linné." (Peters 1931, 1, 4).
Synon. Gauria, Nandou, Pterocnemia, Touyou, Tuyus.
● (syn. Casuarius Ϯ Double-wattled Cassowary C. casuarius) Given to the Cassowary by confusion.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2018). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2018). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 19 December 2018).