Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unmasking the secrets of the extinct moa

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
Griffith University
Summary:
Researchers have used a DNA barcoding technique in an attempt to clarify the number of species which existed of the extinct New Zealand moa. The challenges of understanding extinct fauna can be formidable and particularly so when it comes to this ancient bird.

Griffith researchers have undertaken a study to clarify the number of species which existed of the extinct New Zealand moa.

The findings have been published in 'Complex species status for extinct moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) from the genus Euryapteryx', in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Lead author Dr Huynen said the challenges of understanding extinct fauna can be formidable and particularly so when it comes to this ancient bird.

"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 behavioural data," said Dr Huynen.

"Moa were comprised of a relatively large number of species that can be grouped into six genera. One of these genera, Euryapteryx, has been difficult to characterise into its constituent species, so this is the genus we have focused upon," Dr Huynen said.

"Using a DNA barcoding technique we were able to show that two species were likely to have existed in the genus Euryapteryx, with the possibility of some subspecies," Dr Huynen said.

Co-author Professor David Lambert said that while the study provided new insights it has not proven to be as elucidating as the team had hoped.

"Although DNA barcoding is very successful in determining most other species of birds, including the other moa species, for some reason the results were not as clear with Euryapteryx and therefore it is not possible to precisely discriminate possible species," Professor David Lambert said.

"Using this DNA barcoding technique we have been able to show that species status in Euryapteryx is very complex with there is no clear separation between various individuals and that this is possibly the result of repeated hybridisation events within the genus.

"Our results do provide a clearer picture of the species status of Euryapteryx, however, and support the suggestion that two species of Euryapteryx may have existed during the Holocene as well as a subspecies (possibly attributable to E. curtus curtus) that is found solely on New Zealand's North Island."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Leon Huynen, David M. Lambert. Complex Species Status for Extinct Moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) from the Genus Euryapteryx. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (3): e90212 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090212

Cite This Page:

Griffith University. "Unmasking the secrets of the extinct moa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211411.htm>.
Griffith University. (2014, March 3). Unmasking the secrets of the extinct moa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211411.htm
Griffith University. "Unmasking the secrets of the extinct moa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211411.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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