As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

DNA Barcoding Give Clues about Extinct Moa Birds

Researchers have used DNA barcoding techniques to undertake a study of the moa, an iconic and extinct species of bird native to New Zealand.

Scientists know there were at least nine species of moa endemic to New Zealand, but because the flightless bird died out hundreds of years ago due habitat decline and overhunting, it is challenging to gain a complete understanding of the birds, some of which could stand as high as 12 feet with their necks fully extended.

"Despite more than 100 years of research being devoted to the issue, determining species status is challenging, especially where there is an absence of substantial morphological, physiological, and behavioral data," said lead study author Leon Huynen an ancient DNA expert based at Griffith University.

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