The Inaccessible Island rail is the world's smallest flightless bird. It can only be found on Incaccessible Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and now they know how they got there. ( Stervander, Ryan, Melo & Hansson | Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution )
For almost 100 years, researchers have been baffled how to make tiny, flightless birds their way to an isolated island.
The researchers of the new birds now know how the birds got to the island and successfully colonized it.
The World's Smallest Flightless Bird
Inaccessible Island rails are the world's smallest flightless birds, weighing in at just about 34 to 49 grams. It is also known as "On the Island" in Atlantic Ocean.
It was in 1923 when British physician Percy Lowe of the British Museum first described the Inaccessible Island Rail and gave it a separate Atlantisia genus, after the mythical island of Atlantis. Back then, he believed the birds got to the island by walking to it via a footbridge that previously linked the island to Africa or South America.
However, the real story of how the Inaccessible Island rails got a mystery for nearly a hundred years.
From South America
Now, researchers in a new study published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution may have cracked the mystery. Researchers analyzed the DNA samples they collected from a male Inaccessible Island rail seven years ago and compared it to the DNA of its other relatives in other places such as Africa and South America.
What are they doing what their DNA in South America, the dot-winged crake, suggesting that where they originally came from. By looking into the differences between the two species, the researchers said that it would take 1.5 million years for the two birds to accumulate genetic changes ,
According to researchers, it is possible that they have lost their ability to fly on the way through the wilderness, which has become abundant in food and free of predators.
Evidently, this is not uncommon for birds in the rail species. In fact, at least 32 isolated, living rail species are capable of flying, or have lost the ability to fly entirely.
Today, while Inaccessible Iceland continues to thrive, efforts to prevent the accidental introduction of predators are as important as possible in keeping the species alive.
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