Inaccessible Island Rail Facts
- First of all, the marvelous Inaccessible Island Rail truly earns its common name. That’s because its habitat consists of the island bearing the same name. Furthermore, the nature of the location of the island, and therefore the animal, literally makes it nearly inaccessible.
- Yet that fact, fascinating as it is, does not form the only claim to fame this lovely avian can boast of. That holds true due to the fact that this tiny animal represents the smallest known flightless bird on earth. The tiny marvel also represents the only species in its genus, as well.
- Researchers remain uncertain as to whether or not the indigenous inhabitants of local islands ever knew of its existence. However, Percy Lowe, the noted physician and ornithologist made the first recorded discovery of the species. This recognition occurred in the year 1923.
- Detailed information about some of the habits of the species remains scarce. But, due to its limited range, among other factors, the IUCN presently lists it as Vulnerable. It must be assumed that, given its extremely restricted range, the perils of climate change threaten it, much as with so many other species in the world today.
Inaccessible Island Rail Physical Description
Unquestionably, the most notable thing about the wonderful Inaccessible Island Rail remains its physical size. That’s because, overall, the fascinating species attains an average body length of roughly 5.1 – 6.1 in (13 – 15.5 cm). Thus it earns its status as the smallest bird of its kind known to man.
But, like many species, the tiny wonder does display a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. In the case of this species, that presents itself in terms of body mass. Due to this, the males typically grow heavier, averaging 1.2 – 1.7 oz (35 – 49 gms). meanwhile, females reach 1.2 – 1.5 oz (34 – 42 gms).
The creature also displays an appealing color scheme. Individuals typically present a chestnut-brown on the upper body, with dark gray on the head on lower regions. But, it also possesses scattered small streaks of white on the stomach and flanks. Finally, the animal also has dramatically red eyes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Gruiformes
- Family: Rallidae
- Genus: Atlantisia
- Species: A. rogersi
Inaccessible Island Rail Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the truly remarkable Inaccessible Island Rail inhabits an extremely restricted range. Secondly, that’s because this wonderful bird only inhabits the tiny island its name derived from, Inaccessible Island. This forms part of the Tristan da Cunha group, located in the mid-Atlantic Ocean region.
Although the extremely small island remains uninhabited by man, it makes an excellent home for this species. The interesting animal also proves itself to be highly adaptable, at least within its native range. This fact holds true because it lives in almost all the various habitat types found on the island.
But its greatest population density occurs in regions of native tussock grass, mixed with sedges and ferns. It also has a preference for areas of pure tussock as well. Yet, it also lives in regions of both forest and heath. Furthermore, this animal lives at all altitudes on the island, ranging from sea level up to 1,473 ft (449 m).
Technically, the Inaccessible Island Rail qualifies as an omnivorous species. But, while it does consume various berries and seeds occasionally, it primarily hunts live prey. This typically consists of amphipods, earthworms, mites, and a wide variety of local insects. However, it does not appear to feed on carrion, as some related species do.