Xenicibis xympithecus Olson & Steadman

Club-winged Ibis (Xenicibis xympithecus)

The Club-winged Ibis, also known as Jamaican Ibis or Jamaican Flightless Ibis, was described in 1977 on the basis of subfossil bones that had been found in several caves on the island of Jamaica.

The birds were completely flightless and their wing bones were partially transformed and shaped a bit like a club; it is assumed that the birds used their wings in intraspecific combats or as defensive weapons, for example to scare away boid snakes. However, the birds apparently weren’t able to fight off the predatory mammals introduced by humans and disappeared shortly after the first humans began to settle the island sometimes around 4000 to 1000 BCE..

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edited: 16.02.2024