Abstract

We examined 53 bones of rails (Rallidae), previously referred to Gallirallus n. spp., from archaeological sites on four islands in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. We describe three new, extinct, flightless species of Gallirallus: G. roletti (Tahuata), G. gracilitibia (Ua Huka), and G. epulare (Nuku Hiva). Two bones from Hiva Oa, although probably representing another extinct species of Gallirallus, are regarded as an inadequate basis for describing a species. At first human contact, the genus Gallirallus probably included many scores if not hundreds of flightless species on islands from the far western Pacific (Okinawa, Philippines, Halmahera) eastward across most of Oceania. As currently understood, the Marquesas Islands represent the eastern range limit of Gallirallus.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6188
Print ISSN
0030-8870
Pages
pp. 145-163
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-02
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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