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SV: emu invasion

Nine species of moa? I thought the current count vas ten:

Dinornis novaezealandiae
Dinornis robustus
Anomalopteryx didiformis
Emeus crassus
Eurapteryx curtus
Euryapteryx gravis
Megalapteryx didinus
Pachyornis australis
Pachyornis elephantopus
Pachyornis geranoides

I suppose didiformis and gravis might be 2 sibling species since they
are the only ones occurring in both North and South Island, but the
additional 2 must be pretty cryptic, morphologically. 4-6 million years
ago seems remarkably recent, given the morphological differences, and
that moa eggshell is known from the Miocene.

Tommy Tyrberg

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] För Dino
Guy Ralph
Skickat: den 8 januari 2009 07:12
Till: jbois@verizon.net; dinosaur@usc.edu
Kopia: 'Hope, Sylvia'
Ämne: RE: emu invasion

John Bois <jbois@verizon.net> ponders:
"...was it eleven or so species of moa on NZ before man?"

Funny you should ask that question at this point in time.  Read the
"New Moa Species Discovered" in tomorrow's _New Zealand Herald_ today
(!) at


Researchers from Massey University led by Professor David Lambert
collaborated with colleagues at the Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto
University on the study cited in the newspaper.  The scientists used
DNA from 125 moa bones to reconstruct the moa family tree.  Their work,
published in the _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_,
concludes that there were 14 moa species rather than 9, and that they
from a common ancestor 4 to 6 million years ago.  

Dino Guy Ralph
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
Dinosaur and Fossil Education
Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology