Monday, September 14, 2009

Scientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird, using prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters in New Zealand. Researchers from the University of Adelaide and Landcare Research in New Zealand have identified four different moa species after retrieving ancient DNA from moa feathers believed to be at least 2500 years old.
The giant birds - measuring up to 2.5 metres and weighing 250 kilograms - were the dominant animals in New Zealand’s pre-human environment but were quickly exterminated after the arrival of the Maori around 1280AD.  Full article here...

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