Chendytes lawi Miller, 1925

Law’s diving-goose



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 720 to 350 BC



California, USA


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Miller, Loye Holmes. (1925). Chendytes, a diving goose from the California Pleistocene. The Condor 27(4): 145-147.


Other references:

Buckner, Janet C. et al. (In Press, 2017). Mitogenomics supports an unexpected taxonomic relationship for the extinct diving duck Chendytes lawi and definitively places the extinct Labrador Duck. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

Guthrie, David A. (1992). A late Pleistocene avifauna from San Miguel Island, California. Los Angeles County Nat. Hist. Mus. Sci. Ser. 36: 319-327.

Guthrie DA (1993) New information on the prehistoric fauna of San Miguel Island, California. In Hochberg FG, ed., Third California Islands Symposium: Recent Advances in Research in the California Islands, pp. 405–416. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara.

Guthrie, David A. (1998). Fossil vertebrates from Pleistocene terrestrial deposits on the northern Channel Islands, southern California. Pp. 187-192 in Contributions to the Geology of the Northern Channel Islands, Southern California. Pacific Section American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Guthrie, David A. (2005). Distribution and provenance of fossil avifauna on San Miguel Island. In Proceedings of the Sixth California Islands Symposium. National Park Service Technical Publication CHIS-05-01. Institute for Wildlife Studies, Arcata (pp. 35-42).

Howard, Hildegarde. (1936). A new fossil bird locality near Playa del Rey, California, with description of a new species of sulid. Condor 38(5): 211-214.

Howard, Hildegarde. (1947). Wing elements assigned to Chendytes. Condor 49(2): 76-77.

Howard, Hildegarde. (1949). Avian fossils from the marine Pleistocene of southern California. Condor 51(1): 20-28.

Howard, Hildegarde. (1955). New records and a new species of Chendytes, an extinct genus of diving geese. The Condor 57(3): 135-143.

Howard, Hildegarde. (1964). Further discoveries concerning the flightless "diving geese" of the genus Chendytes. The Condor 66(5): 372-376.

Hume, JP. (2017) Extinct Birds 2nd Edition

Jefferson, G. T. (1991). A catalogue of Late Quaternary vertebrates from California. Part one; nonmarine lower vertebrate and avian taxa. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Technical Reports 5: 1-60.

Jones, Terry L., Coltrain, Joan Brenner et al. (2021). Causes and consequences of the late Holocene extinction of the marine flightless duck (Chendytes lawi) in the northeastern Pacific. Quaternary Science Reviews 260: 106914.

T. L. Jones, J. F. Porcasi, J. M. Erlandson, H. Dallas Jr., T. A. Wake, and R. Schwaderer. (2008). The protracted Holocene extinction of California’s flightless sea duck (Chendytes lawi) and its implications for the Pleistocene overkill hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105(11): 4105-4108.

Livezey, Bradley C. (1993). Morphology of flightlessness in Chendytes, fossil seaducks (Anatidae: Mergeni) of coastal California. J Vert Paleontol 13: 185-199.

Miller, A. H. (1924) Condor, 57 (3), 137

Miller, L., Mitchell, E. D. and Lipps, J. H. (1961). New light on the flightless goose Chendytes lawi. Los Angeles County Museum Contributions to Science, No. 43: 1-11.

Morejohn, G. Victor. (1976). Evidence of the survival to recent times of the extinct flightless duck Chendytes lawi Miller. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 27: 207-211.

Rick, Torben C., Courtney A. Hofman, Todd J. Braje, Jesús E. Maldonado, T Scott Sillett, Kevin Danchisko and Jon M. Erlandson. (2012). Flightless ducks, giant mice and pygmy mammoths: Late Quaternary extinctions on California's Channel Islands. World Archaeology 44(1): 3-20.

Sayol, Ferran, Steinbauer, Manuel J., Blackburn, Tim M., Antonelli, Alexandre and Faurby, Søren. (2020). Anthropogenic extinctions conceal widespread evolution of flightlessness in birds. Science Advances 6(49): eabb6095. [Supplementary Material (Data File S1)]

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Vermeij, G. J. (1993). Biogeography of recently extinct marine species: implications for conservation. Conserv. Biol. 7: 391-397.

Watanabe, Junya. (2017). Quantitative discrimination of flightlessness in fossil Anatidae from skeletal proportions. The Auk 134(3): 672-695.

Young, H. Glyn, Tonge, Simon J. and Hume, Julian Pender. (1996). Review of Holocene wildfowl extinctions. Wildfowl 47: 167-181.


<< Back to the Anseriformes (Waterfowl) database