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Dryolimnas cuvieri of extinct bird has been brought back to life thanks to ... evolution!

Dryolimnas cuvieri , extinct bird
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Dryolimnas cuvieri 



Dryolimnas cuvieri ,extinct bird



Dryolimnas cuvieri of extinct bird has been brought back to life thanks to ... evolution!

A species of flightless bird that lived on an island died as a result of a natural disaster some 136,000 years ago. But according to a new study by researchers at the University of Portsmouth (England) and the Museum of Natural History in London, a set of rare evolutionary circumstances have literally resuscitated this lost species.


The Cuvier's Rail is between 30 and 33 cm long. Males weigh 145 to 218 g and females 138 to 223 grams2.

It is entirely brown chestnut, with the exception of a small white bib. He is quite slender, with long legs and fine fingers. The neck is also long, as well as the bill, straight and dark. The latter is pink at its base in females, while in males this part is darker and matte3.

It is the last species of bird that can not fly from the islands of the Western Indian Ocean and often holds its wings atrophied along its body.

It is the rattle of Cuvier (Dryolimnas cuvieri), a bird species of the family Rallidae, which colonized an island of Aldabra atoll about 136'000 to 240'000 years ago.

It is the very accessible food of the island and the lack of predators which made it possible to eliminate the need of flight of the birds (they do not migrate at all), finally forcing them to follow the path of ostriches, dodos and Kiwis: no longer able to fly.


However, about 136,000 years ago, a catastrophic flood occurred on the island, decimating the population of the Cuvier Rails, completely wiping them out of the surface of the island.

But today, a new analysis of fossils found on the island made it possible to demonstrate that after drying up, a new horde of Cuvier's rales had arrived through the air and also ended up evolving and no longer being able to steal. "Unique fossils provide clear evidence that members of the rattle family have colonized the atoll, and have become unfit for flying on two separate occasions," said Julian Hume, lead researcher of the study. avian paleontologist at National History
Museum.

Thus, the researchers were able to identify evidence of a loss of the ability to steal. "This proves that from a single ancestor (...), the rattle of Cuvier has established on these islands twice, spaced in time for several thousand years. And both times, he lost his ability to fly, "said Hume.
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