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Re: emu history

Quoting Colin McHenry <cmchenry@westserv.net.au>:

> Ron is correct is stating that biogeographic arguments can be very weak, but
> (weak) negative evidence for Cassuariiformes being a distinct lineage prior
> to the seperation from Antarctica comes from the observation that they do
> not (and never have) existed in New Zealand (remembering that Kiwiland split
> from East Antarctica about the same time as Australia

> I think Ron is giving you good advice here - stick to a date seperating the
> Casuariiformes from their closest relatives (presumably the Kiwi + Moa
> group?), or, if you can find it, a date for the split between emu and
> cassowary.

A slight wrinkle here.  Based on mitochondrial DNA, Cooper et al. 2001 (Nature
409: 704-7) actually found Kiwis closer to emus/cassowaries than to moas.

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan