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Madeiran Scops Owl
Anextinctspe
Information
Range island of Madeira in the Macaronesian archipelago off the north-west coast of Africa in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae
Genus Otus
Species Otus mauli
Conservation Status
EXSpecies
Extinct

The Madeiran scops owl (Otus mauli), is an extinct species of small scops owl that once inhabited the island of Madeira in the Macaronesian archipelago off the north-west coast of Africa in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Discovery

Fossil bones of the owl were found in Quaternary sites on Madeira. It is the first extinct owl species to be described from Macaronesia. The describers suggest that the most likely cause of extinction was human settlement in the early 15th century, with its associated habitat destruction and the introduction of alien species. Similar, though more fragmentary, remains were also found on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, which may be of the same, or a closely related, species.

Description

The owl was similar in size to the Eurasian scops owl, though the leg bones were longer. Estimates of its body weight and wing loading suggest that it was largely ground-dwelling.

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