Viti Levu giant pigeon

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Viti Levu giant pigeon
Temporal range: Holocene
Lapitiguana impensa.JPG
Comparison of N. gigoura and Lapitiguana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Natunaornis
T. H. Worthy, 2001
Species: N. gigoura
Binomial name
Natunaornis gigoura
T. H. Worthy, 2001
LocationVitiLevuGiantPigeon.png
Former range (in red)

The Viti Levu giant pigeon (Natunaornis gigoura) is an extinct flightless pigeon of Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji. It was only slightly smaller than the dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and Rodrigues solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria) and is the first giant, flightless pigeon to be discovered on a Pacific island.

Remains of this species were discovered in Quaternary (probably Holocene) deposits in October 1998. Its first description was published in 2001.[1] The holotype is in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[2]

The generic name "Natunaornis" is named after Natuna, the oldest chief of the Volivoli people in the Sigatoka Valley, wherein the fossil bones of the type species were first found.[1] The specific name reflects both the large size of this fossil species and its proposed affinities to the crowned pigeons of genus Goura.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Worthy, T. H. (December 2001). "A giant flightless pigeon gen. et sp. nov. and a new species of Ducula (Aves: Columbidae), from Quaternary deposits in Fiji". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 31 (4): 763–794. doi:10.1080/03014223.2001.9517673. 
  2. ^ "Natunaornis gigoura; holotype". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 18 July 2010.