The origin of the world's smallest flightless bird, the Inaccessible Island Rail Atlantisia rogersi (Aves: Rallidae)

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Abstract

Rails (Aves: Rallidae) are renowned for their extreme dispersal capability, which has given rise to numerous island lineages. Many insular species lost the ability to fly as a response to release from predator pressure—a feature causing rapid extinction when humans subsequently introduced mammals. The world's smallest extant flightless bird, the Inaccessible Island Rail Atlantisia rogersi, is endemic to Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha archipelago, in the central South Atlantic Ocean. It is placed in a monotypic genus, but its taxonomic affinity, as well as geographic origin, are disputed. Contrary to its suggested Old World origin, we demonstrate that the Inaccessible Island Rail is nested within the mainly South American ‘Laterallus clade’ and that it colonized ≥3 million-year-old Inaccessible Island from South America c. 1.5 million years ago. The taxonomy of rails has traditionally been based on morphology, and convergent evolution has caused many cases of misclassification. We suggest a re-classification within the ‘Laterallus clade’ and call for extended coverage of taxon sampling for DNA sequencing.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Oregon
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Biologisk systematik
  • Zoologi

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)92-98
Antal sidor7
TidskriftMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volym130
StatusPublished - 2019
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa