Sylviornis neocaledoniae Poplin, 1980:691

Giant flightless megapode, New Caledonian giant scrubfowl (erroneous), New Caledonian giant megapode (erroneous)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: Holocene



Île des Pins (=Isle of Pines) and New Caledonia


Biology & Ecology




Anderson et. al. (2010) reported subfossil remains from Pindai Cave, New Caledonia.






Original scientific description:

Poplin, François. (1980). Sylviornis neocaledoniae n. g., n. sp. (Aves), ratite éteint de la Nouvelle-Calédonie Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences Paris sér. D, 290: 691-694.


Other references:

Anderson, Atholl, Sand, Christophe, Petchey, Fiona and Worthy, Trevor H. (2010). Faunal Extinction and Human Habitation in New Caledonia: Initial Results and Implications of New Research at the Pindai Caves. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 1(1): 89-109.

Angst, Delphine and Buffetaut, Eric. (Due October 2017). Palaeobiology of Extinct Giant Flightless Birds. ISTE Press.

Balouet, Jean Christophe and Olson, Storrs L. (1989). Fossil Birds from Late Quaternary Deposits in New Caledonia. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 469: 1-38, 16 figures, 13 tables.

Green, R. C. and Mitchell, J. S. (1983). New Caledonian cultural history: a review of the archaeological sequence. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 5: 19-67.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. 544 pp.

Cécile Mourer-Chauvire and Balouet, Jean Christophe. (2005). Description of the skull of the genus Sylviornis Poplin, 1980 (Aves, Galliformes, Sylviornithidae new family), a giant extinct bird from the Holocene of New Caledonia. In: Alcover, J. A. and Bover, P. (eds.). Proceedings of the International Symposium “Insular Vertebrate Evolution: the Palaeontological Approach”. Monografies de la Societat d’Història Natural de les Balears 12: 205-118.

Poplin, François and Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile. (1985). Sylviornis neocaledoniae (Aves: Galliformes, Megapoiidae), oiseaux géant éteint de l'Ile des Pins. Géobios 18: 73-97.

Poplin, François, Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile and Evin, Jacques. (1983). Position systématique et datation de Sylviornis neocaledoniae, mégapode géant (Aves, Galliformes, Megapodiidae) étient de la Nouvelle-Calédonie Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences sér. II, 297: 301-304.

Riamon, Ségolène et al. (2022). The endocast of the insular and extinct Sylviornis neocaledoniae (Aves, Galliformes), reveals insights into its sensory specializations and its twilight ecology. Scientific Reports 12: 21185.

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)]

Steadman DW (1997) A re-examination of the bird bones excavated on New Caledonia by E. W. Gifford in 1952. Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers 82, 38–48.

Steadman, David W. (1999). The biogeography and extinction of megapodes in Oceania. Proceedings Third International Megapode Symposium. Zool. Verh. Leiden 327: 7-21.

Steadman, David W. (2006). Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). In the shadow of the megafauna: prehistoric mammal and bird extinctions across the Holocene, pp. 17-39. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. New York: Oxford University Press.

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.

Worthy, Trevor H., Mitri, M., Handley, W. D., Lee, M. S. Y., Anderson, A. and Sand, C. (2016). Osteology Supports a Stem-Galliform Affinity for the Giant Extinct Flightless Bird Sylviornis neocaledoniae (Sylviornithidae, Galloanseres). PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150871.


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