St Bathans swiftlet

Order: Apodiformes

Family: Apodidae

New Zealand status: Native

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Saint Bathans swiftlet

 
 
 
St Bathans swiftlet. Original specimen (right ulna), S.042799, Te Papa. St Bathans. Image © Te Papa

St Bathans swiftlet. Original specimen (right ulna), S.042799, Te Papa. St Bathans. Image © Te Papa

The St Bathans swiftlet was described from a single bone recovered from 19-16 million-year-old (Early Miocene) lake-bed deposits along the true left bank of the Manuherikia River, St Bathans, central Otago. This bone (NMNZ S.42799, a right ulna) is held at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. This fossil was not given a species name because it cannot be compared to similar-aged fossils from Oligocene – Miocene deposits in Australia.

The swiftlet ulna found near St Bathans was similar in size and form to those of other Collocalia swiftlets. These small swifts are widely distributed in tropical south-east Asia, Indonesia, Melanesia, northern Australia and Polynesia. Swifts no longer breed in New Zealand, but two much larger species occur as vagrants.

Weblinks

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/fossils/6/1

References

Worthy, T.H.; Tennyson, A.J.D.; Jones, C.; McNamara, J.A.; Douglas, B.J. 2007. Miocene waterfowl and other birds from central Otago, New Zealand. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 5: 1-39.

Recommended citation

Miskelly, C.M. 2013. St Bathans swiftlet. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

St Bathans swiftlet

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