Talpanas lippa
a.k.a.‭ ‬Kaua'i mole duck

Name: Talpanas lippa ‭(‬mole duck‭)‬.
Phonetic: Tal-pan-as.
Named By: Andrew N.‭ ‬Iwaniuk,‭ ‬Storrs L.‭ ‬Olson‭ & ‬Helen F.‭ ‬James‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Aves,‭ ‬Anseriformes,‭ ‬Anatidae.
Species: T.‭ ‬lippa‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Insectivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: Hawaii,‭ ‬Kauai,‭ ‬Makauwahi Cave.
Time period: Holocene at least up to about‭ ‬8000‭ ‬years ago.
Fossil representation: Partial remains including skull and leg bones.

       As far as strange birds go,‭ ‬they don’t come much more bizarre than Talpanas lippa,‭ ‬better known as the Kaua'i mole duck.‭ ‬Discovered on the Hawaiian island of Kauai,‭ ‬the Kaua'i mole duck had short legs and a skull which had very small orbital openings,‭ ‬meaning that Kaua'i mole duck would have been nearly if not actually blind.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the Kaua'i mole duck also had an enhanced nerve structure,‭ ‬leading researchers to consider that the Kaua'i mole duck may have felt its way about while looking for small insects to eat.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Extraordinary cranial specialization in a new genus of extinct duck‭ (‬Aves:‭ ‬Anseriformes‭) ‬from Kauai,‭ ‬Hawaiian Islands.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Zootaxa‭ (‬Auckland,‭ ‬New Zealand:‭ ‬Magnolia Press‭) ‬2296:‭ ‬47‭–‬67.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Andrew N.‭ ‬Iwaniuk,‭ ‬Storrs L.‭ ‬Olson‭ & ‬Helen F.‭ ‬James‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.


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