Viti Levu scrubfowl

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Viti Levu scrubfowl
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Megapodiidae
Genus: Megapodius
Species: M. amissus
Binomial name
Megapodius amissus
Worthy, 2000[1]

The Viti Levu scrubfowl (Megapodius amissus), also known as the Fiji scrubfowl or lost megapode, is an extinct megapode that was endemic to Fiji. The epithet amissus, from Latin "lost", refers to its extinction. Subfossil remains were collected from the Udit cave at Wainibuku on the island of Viti Levu in October 1998 by Trevor Worthy, G. Udy and S. Mataraba, and described by Worthy in 2000. The holotype is held by the Museum of New Zealand (reg. no: S.037468).[2]

Description[edit]

The megapode was similar in size to, or slightly larger than, the living orange-footed scrubfowl, though it had reduced wings and more robust legs, suggesting that it was flightless or almost flightless. It is likely that it became extinct through overhunting following human settlement of the Fiji Islands.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Worthy, Trevor H. (2000). "The fossil megapodes (Aves: Megapodiidae) of Fiji with descriptions of a new genus and two new species.". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 30 (4): 337–364. doi:10.1080/03014223.2000.9517627. 
  2. ^ "Object: Fiji Scrubfowl, Megapodius amissus; holotype". Collections online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 2012-08-18.