Feature Paper: Extinct Rail Species Described

Rail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More cool stuff from Dave Steadman’s group (paper here).  Summary after
the jump…

We describe a new species of rail from the Sawmill Sink blue hole on Abaco
Island in the northernBahamas. Known from abundant, beautifully preserved
Late Pleistocene fossils, Rallus cyanocavi sp. nov. wasa mediumsized, flightless
species that probably was endemic to the Little Bahama Bank, which is a carbonate
platform surrounded by deeper water. We are uncertain whether R. cyanocavi
survived into the Holocene,when higher sea levels transformed the Little Bahama
Bank from a single large, Late Pleistocene island (ca. 12000 km2) to the scattering
of smaller islands seen today, the largest of which is Abaco (1681 km2). Fossils of
additional extinct, flightless species of Rallus probably await discovery on some of
the 21 other carbonate banks that span the Bahamian Archipelago.

By | 2017-12-01T14:02:56-04:00 February 11th, 2014|Categories: Birds, Blue Holes, Climate Change, Fossils|0 Comments

About the Author:

Craig Layman
My lab’s interdisciplinary pursuits provide for a multi-faceted understanding of environmental change in the coastal realm. We are ecologists, asking questions that span population, community, ecosystem and evolutionary sub-disciplines. We often use a food web based perspective, exploring top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (e.g., nutrient excretion) mechanisms by which animals affect ecosystem processes. All of our efforts are framed within a broader outreach framework, directly integrating science and education, using approaches such as this website.

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