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A New Species of Small Flightless Duck from Amsterdam Island, Southern Indian Ocean (Anatidae: Anas)
Storrs L. Olson and Pierre Jouventin
Vol. 98, No. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 1-9
Published by: American Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1369501
Page Count: 9
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The islands of Amsterdam and St. Paul each appear to have been inhabited by endemic populations of ducks that were exterminated by humans or human-introduced mammals in the past two hundred years. The duck from St. Paul is known only from a historical account in 1793. Abundant bone remains of a duck from Amsterdam Island are described as a new species, Anas marecula. This was a small, teal-sized species with very reduced wings and pectoral girdle, so that it was certainly flightless. The short, pointed bill suggests a possible derivation of the species from an ancestor related to the widgeons formerly segregated in the genus Mareca.
The Condor © 1996 Cooper Ornithological Society