Friday , April 23 2021

Scientists fired the mystery of the world's smallest flying birds: inaccessible island biology Biology

The inaccessible island, the littlest of the three islands in the Troy archipelago, is about 3600 kilometers east of Porto Alegre in Brazil and about 1,750 miles west of Cape Town in South Africa. Formed from an extinct volcano 3 to 6 million years ago, the island is the only place in the world where a rare species of aircraft called "The Inaccessible Island"Atlantis rocks) lives. According to new research, predators of this species reached the island of South America about 1.5 million years ago, perhaps by wings or by carriages on the karst.

An inaccessible railway line (Atlantia rogersi). Picture Credit: Peter G. Ryan.

Railway line inaccessible (Atlantis rocks). Picture Credit: Peter G. Ryan.

The unfinished trajectory on the island is the world's smallest flyer and the smallest railway line from 13 to 15 cm and weighs 34 to 49 g.

For the first time in 1923, the species was described by British surgeon Percy Lowe, a bird fan who then conducted ornithological collections at the British Museum.

Lowe put the birds in the horn Atlantisia, a reference to mythical Atlantis, and called the species Rogers after the publisher of H.M.C. Rogers, chaplain on the nearby island of Tristan da Cunha, who first collected the samples.

He presumed that the birds moved to an island on a sunken land bridge from Africa or South America, but later the discovery of tectonic boards excluded this idea.

"We've obviously found that birds did not walk on foot," said Dr Martin Stervander, a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecology and Evolution Institute at the University of Oregon.

"They fluttered or aided by floating waste, regardless of whether they were flying all the way, or were stormy and then dropped to the debris, we can not say, in any case, they succeeded in converting it from the shores of South America to the inaccessible island . "

Using modern sequencing of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and phylogenetic methods, Dr. Stervander and co-authors linked the railroad island to the South American wing wings (Porzana spiloptera).

The split came 1.5 million years ago and the railroads colonized the Inaccessible Island in one migration.

Their genetics also make them black rabbits (Laterallus jamaicensis) found in the Americas and possibly Gavapagos (Laterallus spilonota), which also has reduced flying ability.

"And it turned out that the railway line did not make the necessary change of name," Dr. Stervander said.

Scientists recommend that the species is reclassified into the genus Laterallus as well as related species.

"We are sorry to suggest that we take this beautiful name, Atlantisia, and that is something we can all love, but now we can say that the closest kin of this kind are American birds who had their name before the opening of an inaccessible island, "Dr. Stervander said.

"When the birds came to the island, they found three habitats without predators – lawns, trees and short forests – and rich sources of food, including worms, moths, berries and seeds."

"Shortly thereafter, distant birds no longer needed strong survival wings and developed into the aircraft."

"Our discovery focuses on the importance of continuing the prevention of the island's Island Island's unprepared enemy, and if this happens, it could disappear," said Professor Lund University Bengt Hansson, co-author of the study.

The articles are published in the journal Molecular phylogenetics and evolution.


Martin Stervander et al, 2019 The Origin of the Smallest Aircraft in the World, Inaccessible Island Rail Atlantis rocks (Aves: Rallidae). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 130: 92-98; doi: 10.1016 / j.ympev.2018.10.007

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