Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil bird eggshell provides source of ancient DNA

Date:
March 12, 2010
Source:
Murdoch University
Summary:
Scientists have successfully isolated ancient DNA from fossil eggshell remains of extinct birds for the first time.

In a world first an international team of researchers, led by Dr Michael Bunce of Murdoch University, have successfully isolated ancient DNA from fossil eggshell remains of extinct birds.
Credit: Image courtesy of Murdoch University

In a world first an international team of researchers, led by Dr Michael Bunce of Murdoch University, have successfully isolated ancient DNA from fossil eggshell remains of extinct birds.

Related Articles


"We were really surprised to discover that ancient DNA is well-preserved in fossil eggshells, particularly the heaviest bird to have existed the elephant bird called Aepyornis, which is now extinct," said Murdoch doctoral student Charlotte Oskam, who undertook the research.

"Researchers have tried unsuccessfully to isolate DNA from fossil eggshell for years -- it just turned out that they were using a method designed for bone that was not suitable for fossil eggshell."

The new study published this week in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B describes how DNA up to 19,000 years old is an excellent source of ancient DNA especially in warmer climates such as Australia.

Fossil eggshells are frequently recovered from deposits across the globe and have been extensively used as a tool for radiocarbon dating and as a proxy to study past environments.

Now, thanks to this new study, a DNA profile will be added to these datasets.

The ancient DNA research team now plans to study eggshell from a number of archaeological sites in New Zealand to investigate how humans interacted with another giant bird, the moa, which went extinct nearly 600 years ago due to hunting pressures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Murdoch University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charlotte L. Oskam, James Haile, Emma Mclay, Paul Rigby, Morten E. Allentoft, Maia E. Olsen, Camilla Bengtsson, Gifford H. Miller, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Chris Jacomb, Richard Walter, Alexander Baynes, Joe Dortch, Michael Parker-Pearson, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Richard N. Holdaway, Eske Willerslev, and Michael Bunce. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA. Proc. R. Soc. B, March 10, 2010 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2019

Cite This Page:

Murdoch University. "Fossil bird eggshell provides source of ancient DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310211824.htm>.
Murdoch University. (2010, March 12). Fossil bird eggshell provides source of ancient DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310211824.htm
Murdoch University. "Fossil bird eggshell provides source of ancient DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310211824.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins