The Rodrigues rail (Erythromachus leguati) was a flightless bird endemic
to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues, east of Madagascar in the Indian
Ocean. The rail was described as having grey plumage, a red beak and
legs, and a naked red patch around the eye. The bird fed on tortoise
eggs. It was described as being attracted to red objects, which humans
exploited while hunting it. The Rodrigues rail is believed to have
become extinct in the mid-18th century because of predation by
introduced cats and destruction of its habitat by tortoise hunters. The
bird was first documented from life by two contemporaneous accounts,
first by François Leguat, a French Huguenot refugee marooned on
Rodrigues in 1691, and then by Julien Tafforet, marooned on the island
in 1726. Subfossil remains (pictured) were later discovered and
connected with the old accounts in 1874, and the species was named
E. leguati in Leguat's honour.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrigues_rail>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Second Anglo-Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty
First World War: The Battle of Passchendaele began near Ypres,
Belgium, with the Allies aiming to force German troops to withdraw from
the Channel Ports.
A team of Italian climbers became the first to reach the summit
of K2, the world's second-highest mountain.
The Troubles: Operation Banner, the British Armed Forces'
operation in Northern Ireland, ended after 38 years with a military
stalemate and ceasefire.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(biology, chiefly zoology) An adaptation, especially a form of
coloration, that warns off potential predators.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The bond between a man and his profession is similar to that
which ties him to his country; it is just as complex, often ambivalent,
and in general it is understood completely only when it is broken: by
exile or emigration in the case of one's country, by retirement in the
case of a trade or profession.