Half the size of the island of Manhattan in the South Atlantic Ocean is so isolated that it is called Inaccessible Island. On this island and only on this island, nearly 6,000 stinging badges are called the Inaccessible Island rails. But they can not fly and the island is only a few million years old. How did the birds come?
A new analysis could solve the mystery. Bird DNA discovers that it has recently developed from a visitor to the island and has lost its ability to fly from the power of natural selection.
"It's very spectacular that the word is the smallest non-flying bird ever in one of the farthest places ever," said study author Martin Stervander, Oregon University Postdoctoral Researcher, said Gizmodo. "The birds seem to have arrived on the island, and since there were little threats to the predators, there was not much to do."
When scientists first described the bird in the 1920s, they immediately knew they were looking at something strange. The Inaccessible Island 3500 km from South America and 2800 km from South Africa. The bird does not occupy the two nearby islands, which are less than 32 km away.
He suggested that the theory of the tectonics of the disc existed that the bird had somehow set off over a deserted land bridge on the island. He was placed in his own family, Atlantisia. Recent research has suggested that the bird comes from African rails.
Scientists behind the new paper have analytical tools such as bird forms and geography. In September 2011, they captured the male railroad of Inaccessible Island, took out their blood, sequenced their DNA, and compared the results with other rail data.
It was concluded that the ancestral railroad was a South American bird that came about 1.5 million years ago to the island and is more likely to be a member of the laterallus genus, which includes today's birds such as carp, Galápagos breed and similar black bars as published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
Makes sense. The rails are famous for flying and settling, 53 existing or recently extinct species that appeared only on the islands, and 32 species losing part or all of their flying ability. The Inaccessible Island populations of the railway ancestors probably headed eastwards to the Atlantic and finally went on the island – which was pretty sweet at the concert that they did not have to fly anymore.
"When the rail arrived at the Inaccessible Island, they walked all their food and nothing escaped, so there is no need for flying," said Stervander. The only danger of the bird on the Inaccessible Island is another bird species that sometimes consumes eggs, perhaps some sea birds.
It is unclear why he did not drive the rail to the other two islands – perhaps the population tried and failed.
Stervander pointed out that more research is needed. The data on the rail was incomplete, so perhaps more data reveals that the bird really belongs to a separate genus.
And although the bird is alive in good life, it is still a threatened species. Unmanned bird populations can easily collapse when people bring invasive species, such as cats or rats.
This document is probably the most fearsome mystery on the South Atlantic. But if you plan on visiting the island (which is not easy), make sure you do nothing to damage the birds.
[Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution]