Published on: February 5, 2024



NEWS – Flightless Aldabra rail went extinct over 130,000 years ago, but the species then reappeared via iterative evolution


  • Process by which similar traits or adaptations evolve independently in different lineages over multiple generations
  • Occurs when different species, facing similar environmental challenges or opportunities, independently develop similar traits through the process of natural selection
  • Example : Bats and birds are distinct groups of organisms that independently evolved the ability to fly. Their wings have a similar function, allowing them to achieve flight, but the structural and genetic mechanisms differ. This is an example of convergent evolution in response to the ecological advantage of flight.


  • Scientific name – Dryolimnas cuvieri aldabranus
  • Bird species native to Aldabra Atoll, part of the Seychelles archipelago
  • Subspecies of the common white-throated rail
  • Known for its fascinating evolutionary history, particularly its repeated evolution of flightlessness
  • It’s about the size of a chicken, with a flecked gray back, a rusty red head and chest and a white throat
  • A 2019 study published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society examined the fossil record of rails in Aldabra and found evidence of a flightless rail on the atoll from before it was submerged beneath the waves 136,000 years ago