From today's featured article

Lectotype subfossil bones of the Rodrigues starling
Lectotype subfossil bones of the Rodrigues starling

The Rodrigues starling (Necropsar rodericanus) is an extinct species of starling that was endemic to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues. Its closest relatives were the Mauritius starling and the hoopoe starling from nearby islands. The bird was reported by a French sailor Julien Tafforet, who was marooned on the island from 1725 to 1726. He observed it on the offshore islet of Île Gombrani. Subfossil remains (pictured) from the mainland were described in 1879, and suggested to be of the same species. Confusion about the bird and its taxonomic relations persisted through the 20th century. This starling was 25–30 centimetres (10–12 inches) long, and had a stout beak. It was described as having a white body, partially black wings and tail, and a yellow bill and legs. Little is known about its behaviour, although its diet included eggs and dead tortoises. Predation by rats introduced to the area was probably responsible for the bird's extinction some time in the 18th century, first on mainland Rodrigues, then on Île Gombrani. (Full article...)

Did you know ...

White-throated round-eared bat
White-throated round-eared bat

In the news

The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen by Vincent van Gogh
The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen

On this day

April 3

One-dollar Pony Express stamp
One-dollar Pony Express stamp

Richard of Chichester (d. 1253) · Cyrus K. Holliday (b. 1826) · Roza Shanina (b. 1924)

More anniversaries: