Genus Aphanapteryx


Aphanapteryx bonasia - The Red Rail or Red Hen of Mauritius, Aphanapteryx bonasia, is an extinct rail. It was only found on the island of Mauritius. The Red Rail, which today is only known from a large number of bones, some descriptions and a handful of drawings and paintings, was a flightless bird, somewhat larger than a chicken . Its plumage was reddish brown all over, and the feathers were fluffy and hairlike; the tail was not visible in the living bird and the short wings likewise also nearly disappeared in the plumage. It had a long, slightly curved, brown bill and comparatively long legs. Altogether, it resembled a lean kiwi more than a rail.


Aphanapteryx leguati - The Rodrigues Rail or Leguat's Gelinote is an extinct bird named after the learned traveller Fran├žois Leguat, who came with a band of Huguenot religious refugees to Rodrigues in 1691 and stayed there for two years. It was also mentioned by Julien Tafforet in 1726. The Rodrigues Rail was a plump, flightless rail with bright gray plumage - probably an effect caused by fine grey and white mottling or vermiculations like on a mallard drake's flanks - and conspicuous redbill, feet and eye wattles. It was somewhat smaller than its relative, the Red Rail of Mauritius. The strong bill varied much in size and shape, some specimens having shorter and almost straight bills, others being much longer and prominently curved. It is unknown whether this related to sexual dimorphism or to individual variation or even to a genetic plasticity in bill shape and size that responds to differential food availability, as had been shown in some Darwin's finches. Leguat's account does suggest that he could not discern marked differenc

Order : Gruiformes
Family : Rallidae
Genus : Aphanapteryx