Scarlett's shearwater

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Scarlett's shearwater
Temporal range: Holocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
Species: P. spelaeus
Binomial name
Puffinus spelaeus
Holdaway & Worthy, 1994

Scarlett's shearwater (Puffinus spelaeus) was a species of seabird in the petrel family Procellariidae. Its common name commemorates New Zealand palaeontologist Ron Scarlett.

This bird became known from fossil bones found in caves in the west and north-west of South Island, New Zealand in 1991.[1] It is likely to have been driven to extinction by the kiore Rattus exulans, which was introduced by Polynesians to New Zealand less than 1000 years ago.[2]


  1. ^ Holotype of Puffinus spelaeus in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  2. ^ A New Fossil Species of Shearwater Puffinus From the Late Quaternary of the South Island, New Zealand, and Notes on the Biogeography and Evolution of the Puffinus gavia Superspecies by RN Holdaway and TH Worthy; Emu - Austral Ornithology 94(3) pgs 201 - 215

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