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GALLERIES > BIRDS > DROMAIIDAE > KANGAROO ISLAND EMU [Dromaius baudinianus]


Kangaroo Island Emu Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

Kangaroo Island Emu or Dwarf Emu (Dromaius baudinianus) is an extinct member of the bird family Casuariidae. It was restricted to Kangaroo Island, South Australia. It differed from the mainland Emu mainly in its smaller size. The species became extinct in approximately 1827.

History

It was discovered in 1802 by Matthew Flinders and reported to be quite common around Nepean Bay. The first bones of the species were discovered in 1903 at The Brecknells, sandhills on the west side of Cape Gantheaume. However, due to much confusion surrounding the bird's taxonomy and that of a similar species, the King Island Emu from King Island north of Tasmania, it only received its current scientific name in 1984, after a thorough revision of the extinct emus by Shane A. Parker.

The species is known only from historical observer accounts and from bones, including sets deposited at the South Australian Museum. A mounted skin at the Geneva Museum in Switzerland is sometimes identified as that of a Kangaroo Island Emu, but may instead be a young mainland Emu.

It is believed that this emu lived in the interior forest.

The species' extinction has been attributed to hunting and habitat clearance through burning.





                                     



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