Chatham duck

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Chatham duck
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene-Holocene
Extinct  (16th century)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
A. chathamica
Binomial name
Anas chathamica
Oliver, 1955

The Chatham duck or Chatham Island duck (Anas chathamica) is an extinct species of duck, formerly placed in a monotypic genus Pachyanas, which once lived in New Zealand's Chatham Islands in the south-west Pacific Ocean. It was described by Walter Oliver (as a "stoutly built duck") from bird bones in the collection of the Canterbury Museum in 1955 in the second edition of his work New Zealand Birds.[1] Recently, analysis of mitochondrial DNA extracted from subfossil remains [2] showed that the Chatham duck was not, in fact, closely related to shelducks but instead belongs in the genus Anas: the dabbling ducks. Its closest living relatives appear to be the Auckland teal, Campbell teal and the brown teal from New Zealand. Some authors have suggested that the Chatham duck was flightless;[3] however, comparison of Chatham duck wing bones with those from living ducks indicates no disproportional reduction in wing length.[2] The Chatham duck likely became extinct in about the 16th century because of hunting by humans.[4]


  1. ^ Oliver, W.R.B. (1955). New Zealand Birds. Wellington: Reed. ISBN 978-0-589-00851-2.
  2. ^ a b Mitchell, Kieren J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Scofield, R. Paul; Llamas, Bastien; Cooper, Alan (2014). "Ancient mitochondrial genome reveals unsuspected taxonomic affinity of the extinct Chatham duck (Pachyanas chathamica) and resolves divergence times for New Zealand and sub-Antarctic brown teals" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 70: 420–428. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.08.017. PMID 23994164.
  3. ^ Shugart, H.H. (2007). How the Earthquake Bird Got Its Name and Other Tales of an Unbalanced Nature. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12270-1.
  4. ^ Tennyson, A.; Martinson, P. (2006). Extinct Birds of New Zealand. Wellington: Te Papa Press. ISBN 978-0-909010-21-8.

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