Genus Atlantisia


Atlantisia podarces - When American ornithologist Alexander Wetmore described this species from subfossil remains which were found at Prosperous Bay, Saint Helena, he classified it into the new genus Aphanocrex. However, in 1973 American paleontologist Storrs Olson synonymised this genus with the genus Atlantisia which other representative is the Inaccessible Island Rail . While Olson had considered it as congenor of the Inaccessible Island Rail, other scientists regarded it not even as close relative and so it was renamed into Aphanocrex. The Saint Helena Swamphen was relatively large and reached almost the size of the New Zealand Weka . In contrast to the Weka it was more slender. Since Saint Helena was predator free until the sixteenth century, the swamphen had lost its ability to fly but it wings were better developed like the wings of the rails from Inaccessible Island and Ascension Island. Furthermore it had strong toes with long claws which give that species a good ability to climb and flutter up the steep valley walls. It

Inaccessible Island Rail - This rail has an average weight of 30 grams and a length of 17 centimeters. It is dark rusty-brown above and dark grey below, with a short black bill and a red eye.

Order : Gruiformes
Family : Rallidae
Genus : Atlantisia