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Bird that went extinct 136,000 years ago comes ‘back from the dead’

A bird that previously went extinct rose from the dead after it evolved all over again, scientists have found.

The last surviving flightless species of bird in the Indian Ocean, a type of rail, has actually been around before, the research found. It came back through a process called “iterative evolution“, which saw it emerge twice over, the researchers found.

It means that on two separate occasions – tens of thousands of years apart – a species of rail was able to colonise an atoll called Aldabra. In both cases it eventually became flightless, and those birds from the latter time can still be found on the island now.

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