View Full Version : Bird that went extinct 136,000 years ago comes ‘back from the dead’ after evolving ag

05-10-2019, 02:51 PM
A bird that previously went extinct rose from the dead after it evolved all over again, scientists have found.

The last surviving flightless species of bird in the Indian Ocean, a type of rail, has actually been around before, the research found. It came back through a process called "iterative evolution", which saw it emerge twice over, the researchers found.

It means that on two separate occasions – tens of thousands of years apart – a species of rail was able to colonise an atoll called Aldabra. In both cases it eventually became flightless, and those birds from the latter time can still be found on the island now.

Iterative evolution happens when the same or similar structures evolve out of the same common ancestor, but at different times – meaning that the animal actually comes about twice over, completely separately.

This is the first time it has been seen in rails, and one of the most significant ever seen in a bird of any kind.


05-11-2019, 11:35 PM
Very interesting... How about this for an ultra-technicality?
Populations can be delineated into species not only by genetic incompatibility, but also refusal of the populations to inter-mate in natural settings yes? (often due to different behaviors or appearances)
So let's say refusal has occurred in two genetically compatible species on an island...
A rift occurs in the middle, separating the island into two halves with both species existing in both halves.
Species 1 then goes extinct on one side, and a subset of species 2 evolves the behaviors/appearences that species 1 possessed to fill the niche.
Now the rift is passable, and the subset of species 2 that went through iterative/convergent evolution now starts mating with species 1 because they are now behaviorally/cosmetically compatible.
Did a subset of species 2 evolve into species 1?