Iterative Evolution led to Re-Emergence of White-Throated Rail

The study from the University of Portsmouth and the UK’s Natural History Museum has found that white-throated rail that once had gone extinct came back from the dead due to the process of Iterative Evolution.

Iterative Evolution and White-Throated Rail

Iterative evolution refers to the process of repeated evolution of similar or parallel structures from the same ancestor but at different times.

White-throated rail was indigenous to Madagascar and later migrated to Aldabra, Seychelles where they evolved and lost the ability to fly. Aldabra Island disappeared under the sea during an inundation event around 136,000 years ago.

The researchers undertook the fossil study from 100,000 years ago when the island was recolonised by flightless rails and concluded that one species from Madagascar gave rise to two different species of flightless rail on Aldabra in the space of a few thousand years.