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1 April 2010 Prehistoric Birds from Rurutu, Austral Islands, East Polynesia
David W. Steadman, Robert Bollt
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We identify 70 bird bones from the Peva dune site, Rurutu, Austral Islands. These bones represent 10 species, dominated by the extant White-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus; the nonnative chicken, Gallus gallus; and an undescribed species of extinct rail, Gallirallus sp. Two other species are extinct (the ground-doves Gallicolumba undescribed spp. 1 and 2). No species of Gallirallus or Gallicolumba has been recorded previously from the Austral Islands. All but three of the 70 bird bones are from the lowest cultural strata at Peva, which date from the thirteenth to early fifteenth century A.D. (the Archaic or Early East Polynesian cultural phase). The small set of bird bones from the Peva dune site increases the number of indigenous species of land birds known from Rurutu from three to six.

© 2010 by University of Hawai'i
David W. Steadman and Robert Bollt "Prehistoric Birds from Rurutu, Austral Islands, East Polynesia," Pacific Science 64(2), 315-325, (1 April 2010).
Accepted: 1 May 2009; Published: 1 April 2010

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