Study re­veals how tiny flight­less birds ended up in In­ac­ces­si­ble Is­land

Tehran Times - - SCIENCE -

For al­most 100 years, re­searchers have been baf­fled as to how tiny, flight­less birds made their way to an iso­lated is­land.

The re­searchers of a new study now know how the birds got to the is­land and suc­cess­fully col­o­nized it.

In­ac­ces­si­ble Is­land rails are the world’s small­est flight­less birds, weigh­ing in at just about 34 to 49 grams. But apart from the birds’ size and strik­ing fea­tures, what’s even more in­cred­i­ble about the tiny birds is that they live on an is­land aptly named In­ac­ces­si­ble Is­land, an iso­lated is­land in the mid­dle of the south­ern 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 that the birds got to the is­land by walk­ing to it via a foot bridge that had pre­vi­ously linked the is­land to Africa or South Amer­ica.

How­ever, the real story of how the In­ac­ces­si­ble Is­land rails got to the is­land re­mained a mys­tery for nearly a hun­dred years.

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