Backyard Birds

Giant Hoopoes

The Giant Hoopoes (Upupa antaios), also known as St. Helena Giant Hoopoe or St. Helena Hoopoe is an extinct bird from the family of Hoopoes (Upupidae).

It was endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. Due to its subfossil bones it is considered that it was much larger than its European and African relatives. In addition it was completely flightless.

The incomplete skeleton which was found in 1975 by palaeontologist Storrs Olson consists of both coracoids and the left femur.

The reasons for its extinction remained unknown.

It became presumedly extinct soon after its discovery in 1502 and it became apparently a victim by invasive species and by overhunting.

It fed possibly on St. Helena earwigs, an insect which is probably extinct too.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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