Jul 2, 2009

Moa Rebuilt Using Ancient DNA

A Kiwi, an Ostrich and the giant Moa, each with its egg.
Little did Avonside, Christchurch resident Sir Johann Franz Julius von Haast (1822-1887) envisage that his pioneering archaeological endeavours in the 1860s would one day lead to scientists performing the first DNA-based reconstruction of the extinct Moa.
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 2,500 years old.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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