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An extinct bird species has evolved back into existence, study says

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According to a study published Wednesday in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, sediments from the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean show that the island has been completely submerged multiple times, wiping out all species inhabiting it. Every time, every species on the island went extinct — but the Aldabra rail has returned, again and again.


The rail is an example of iterative evolution — when the same ancestral lineage leads to repeated evolution of a species at different points in time. The rare phenomenon means that species can re-emerge over and over, despite past iterations going extinct. 

The flightless bird — a descendant of a species of flying bird known as the white-throated rail — was completely wiped out when the island disappeared below sea level about 136,000 years ago. When sea levels fell again a few thousand years later, fossils show that the species re-colonized it, once again losing the ability to fly due to an absence of predators on the island.  


That's really cool.

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