Leguatia gigantea Schlegel, 1857

Géant, Réunion stork



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Generally regarded as referring to flamingoes, which formerly bred on both islands (e.g. Hume, 2013).


Conservation Status

Last record: 1708



Mauritius & Réunion, Mascarene Islands


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Schlegel, H. (1857). Over eenige uitgestorvene reusachtige Vogels van de Mascarenhas-Eilanden. Verslagen en Mededeelingen derKoninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Natuurkunde 7: 116-144.

Other references:

Cheke, A. S. (1987). An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates, pp. 5-89. In: Diamond, A. W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene island birds. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Cowles, Graham S. (1987). The fossil record, pp. 90-100. In: Diamond, A. W. (ed.). Studies of Mascarene Island Birds. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Hachisuka, M. (1953). The dodo and kindred birds, or the extinct birds of the Mascarene Islands. xvi+250 pp. London (H. F. & G. Witherby).

Hume, Julian Pender. (2013). A synopsis of the pre-human avifauna of the Mascarene Islands, pp. 195-237. In: Göhlich, U.B. & Kroh, A. (eds.). Proceedings of the 8th International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution. Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien.

Hume, Julian Pender. (2019). Systematics, morphology and ecology of rails (Aves: Rallidae) of the Mascarene Islands, with one new species. Zootaxa 4626(1): 1-107. [Abstract]

Leguat, F. (1708). Voyage et aventures de Francois Leguat et des ses compagnons en deux isles desertes des Indes Orientales. London (David Mortier, Marchand Làbraire). 180 pp.

Olson, Storrs L. (1977). A synopsis on the fossil Rallidae, pp. ?-?. In: Ripley, S. D. Rails of the World: A Monograph of the Family Rallidae. Boston and Massachussetts: David R. Godine.

Naish, Darren. (2018, 9 March). The Enigma of Leguatia, 6-foot Mauritian Super-Rail. Tetrapod Zoology blog post, available from: [accessed 9 March 2018] 

North-Coombes, A. (1983). François Leguat, le géant and the flamingo in the Mascarene Islands. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, Mauritius 4(3): 1-30.

Oudemans, A. C. (1917). Leguatia gigantea Schleg. Ardea 6(2): 37-55, 1 pl.

Rothschild, Lionel Walter. (1907). Extinct birds: an attempt to write in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times, that is within the last six or seven hundred years: to which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction. London: Hutchinson & Co. XXIX + 243 pp. [p. 151, pl. 31]

Schlegel, H. (1866). On Some Extinct Gigantic Birds of the Mascarene Islands. Ibis, series 2, 2:146-168. [English translation of Schlegel, 1858.] 

Shuker, Karl P. N. (2012, 13 September). Leguatia gigantea - the giant bird that never was. Blog post at shukernature, available at:

Stresemann, E. (1923). Nochmals: Leguatia gigantea Schlegel. Journal fur Ornithologie 71: 511-512.


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