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Ozzy Emu omlettes at Lake Eyre? Eye-eye!



The cover on the Jan. 8, 1999 issue of _Science_ has a photo of emu
egg(s) eroding out of a sand dune.  Pretty neat photo.  Figure caption
reads:


"COVER- An emu eggshell discovered in a Pleistocene dune at Lake Eyre,
central Australia.  The calcite matrix of the shell resists alteration
and thus can be dated directly (the one pictured is ~14,000 years old)
and preserves a record of the bird's dietary preferences.  Analyses of
more than 1000 eggshells of emu and another flightless bird (_Genyornis
newtoni_) suggest that human activity, rather than climate, was
responsible for extinction of the latter ~50,000 years ago. (photo: G.
H. Miller)"

The article on _Genyornis newtoni_ is found on p. 205, with an
interesting commentary by Timothy Flannery on page. 182. And a great
piece of paleo-art by (if I understand the credit) P. Trusler, also on
page 182.

Ref:
Miller, G.H., J.W. Magee, B.J. Johnson, M.L. Fogel, N.A. Spooner, M.T.
McCulloch, and L.K. Ayliffe. 1999. Pleistocene extinction of _Genyornis
newtoni: human impact on Australian megafauna. Science 5399:205-208.
                <pb>