Loss of flight ability in the extinct New Zealand duck Euryanas finschi

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Abstract

Subfossil bones of the extinct New Zealand duck, Euryanas finschi (Van Beneden), from late Otiran glacial‐early Holocene (20,000‐ 1 1,000 years BP) and late Holocene (2,000‐1,000 years BP) deposits were compared. Ten percent reduction in wing bone lengths and reductions in other pectoral girdle elements suggest reduced flight ability and may be related to possible ecological changes such as relaxation of predation pressure and increase in stability of food supply. Comparisons of Euryanas with extant members of the Anus aucklandica (Gray) species complex indicate that in the late Holocene Euryanas had similar flight ability to A. aucklandica chlorotis Gray, 1845.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-628
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume215
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes

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