Ancient Goatsin crossed the Atlantic on a raft

Goatsin (photo seancrane).

The ancestors of modern Goatsin lived in South America and in Africa. But the flying ability of these birds are far from being able to freely fly from continent to continent. Therefore, scientists believe ancient Goatsin done the sea travel on a large floating debris.
Bird Goatsin amazing in every way. Living on the banks of the Amazon and Orinoco, she convinced vegetarian, neglecting water animals, molluscs and insects. The process of digestion begins in Goatsin already in the crop where bacteria fermentation of plant foods is carried out, it makes the bird something like a ruminant mammals. Goatsin bad flying, and his chicks on the fingers of the wings are developed claws with which small Goatsin climb trees.

All this, as well as a number of other features for many years puzzled biologists: it was unclear as to which group systematically attributed Goatsin. That it is extremely ancient form, "living fossil" — no doubt, but whose it relative? Goatsin tried attributed to the Galliformes, and the cuckoo, and the cranes. Finally, he highlighted its own order, family and genus. However Goatsin origin was a mystery: too few fossils have been found to trace its evolutionary destiny.

And finally, zoologists fortunate. In the south-east of Brazil was found a large piece of the skeleton birds, all signs similar to Goatsin. Bone age — 23 million years according to the researchers, this is the oldest of the findings. And, judging by her, even at that time Goatsin formed his strange appearance and physiology, but at the same time — gave scientists a new puzzle. Comparing fossils found with others, the researchers found that the 17-millionoletnie bird bones found in Namibia and referred to an extinct type of cranes, in fact, it is the remains Goatsin. The results of his archaeological research international team of zoologists presented in the journal Naturwissenschaften.

If the same group of animals (or similar groups) open on different continents, the explanation may be two. Either form arose before the continents separated, or animals somehow overcame the sea barrier. Africa and South America, in any case went before Goatsin so that the bird was only the second option — to fly over the sea. But even if the ancestor Goatsin flew better than its modern descendants, it is impossible to imagine that this bird would overcome 1000 kilometers of the Atlantic.

Therefore, scientists have assumed for some strange feathered version of travel — on a large floating marine debris. Among such travelers were seen primates, rodents and lizards, but not birds (which is understandable).

This hypothesis is still another conclusion regarding evolution Goatsin. Millions of years ago, the ocean currents could lead desperate sailors only from Africa to South America, but not vice versa. It turns out that "the most mysterious bird of South America," as they call Goatsin arrived here from across the Atlantic.

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