|Puerto Rican Quail-dove|
Bones of the Puerto Rican quail-dove
Remains of the Puerto Rican quail-dove were unearthed in the caves Cueva Clara and Cueva Catedral near Morovis, in the cave Cueva Toraño at Utuado and in a kitchen midden near Mayagüez on Puerto Rico. The holotype, a tarsometatarsus, was discovered in July 1916 by zoologist Harold Elmer Anthony in the cave Cueva Clara.
According to Alexander Wetmore who described this species it was related to the grey-fronted quail-dove (Geotrygon caniceps) which occurs on Cuba and on the Dominican Republic. However, the tarsometatarsus of the Puerto Rican quail-dove is longer than in the grey-fronted quail-dove. Compared with the ruddy quail-dove (Geotrygon montana), which occurs on Puerto Rico too, the tarsometatarsi are more slender.
The amount of the unearthed material led to the assumption that the Puerto Rican quail-dove might have been a common bird before the arrival of the first settlers. Probably it became a victim of the extensive deforestations.