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Viti Levu giant pigeon

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Title: Viti Levu giant pigeon  
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Subject: Viti, Columbidae, Rodrigues solitaire, Flightless bird, Island gigantism
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Viti Levu giant pigeon

Viti Levu giant pigeon
Comparison of N. gigoura and Lapitiguana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Natunaornis
T. H. Worthy, 2001
Species: N. gigoura
Binomial name
Natunaornis gigoura
T. H. Worthy, 2001
Former range (in red)

The Viti Levu giant pigeon (Natunaornis gigoura) is an extinct flightless pigeon of Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji. It was only slightly smaller than the dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and Rodrigues solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria).

Remains of this species were discovered in October 1998. Its first description was published in 2001 by T.H. Worthy.[1] The holotype is in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[2]

The monotypic genus Natunaornis is named after Natuna, the oldest chief of the Volivoli people in the Sigatoka Valley, wherein the fossil bones of the type species were first found.[1] The scientific specific name reflects the large size of this fossil species and its proposed affinities to the crowned pigeons of genus Goura.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Worthy, T.H., 2001. A giant flightless pigeon gen. et sp. nov. and a new species of Ducula (Aves: Columbidae), from Quaternary deposits in Fiji. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Volume 31, Number 4, pp 763-794. PDF file of entire paper: medium quality (4947K)
  2. ^ "Natunaornis gigoura; holotype". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 


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