Quantcast

Latest Late Quaternary prehistoric birds Stories

Giant Moa Not So Giant
2013-12-19 14:20:21

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study of the extinct giant moa has found the massive flightless birds were actually less robust than previously believed. In the study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers conducted computer tomography (CT) scans of full giant moa skeletons to create comprehensive digital images which were used to determine the birds' mass and general constitution. The team also scanned a smaller moa species called Pachyornis...

Extinct Moa Females Up To Three Times Larger Than Males
2013-04-10 13:30:01

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Sexual dimorphism, in which male and females of the same species differ significantly in appearance, is fairly common among birds. Typically, the male of the species either towers over the female or is equipped with elaborate plumage, as in the case of the peacock. However, for New Zealand´s extinct, flightless giant moa, the roles were reversed, with the female often weighing three times as much as her male suitors....

Mass Extinction Of Pacific Island Birds Occurred After Arrival Of First People
2013-03-26 06:13:09

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The last region on Earth to be colonized by humans was home to more than 1,000 species of birds that went extinct shortly after people reached their island homes, new research from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and collaborators reveals. Tropical Pacific Islands, like Hawaii and Fiji, were an untouched paradise almost 4,000 years ago when the arrival of the first people caused irreversible damage with overhunting and...

Birds In New Zealand Face Extinction
2012-08-05 19:50:05

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Keys to survival today differ from those of the past. This is revealed in a new study of nearly 300 species of New Zealand birds – from pre-human times to the present. Lead author Lindell Bromham of Australian National University said, "Taking into consideration the growing number of studies that try to predict which species could be lost in the future based on what kinds of species are considered most threatened today the...

Image 1 - Fossil Feathers Reveal Lineage Of Extinct, Flightless Ibis
2011-11-23 04:07:43

A remarkable first occurred recently at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History when ornithologists Carla Dove and Storrs Olson used 700- to 1,100-year-old feathers from a long extinct species of Hawaiian ibis to help determine the bird's place in the ibis family tree. The feathers are the only known plumage of any of the prehistorically extinct birds that once inhabited the Hawaiian Islands. Discovered with a nearly complete skeleton, the feathers retained enough microscopic...

Scientists Determine Family Tree For Most-endangered Bird Family In The World
2011-10-21 03:44:28

Using one of the largest DNA data sets for a group of birds and employing next-generation sequencing methods, Smithsonian scientists and collaborators have determined the evolutionary family tree for one of the most strikingly diverse and endangered bird families in the world, the Hawaiian honeycreepers. Not only have the researchers determined the types of finches that the honeycreeper family originally evolved from, but they have also linked the timing of that rapid evolution to the...

7831809eb229061523e3535027a691081
2009-11-18 10:34:39

DNA recovered from fossilized bones of the moa, a giant extinct bird, has revealed a new geological history of New Zealand, reports a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of scientists led by the University of Adelaide has reconstructed a history of marine barriers, mountain building and glacial cycles in New Zealand over millions of years, using the first complete genetic history of the moa. After almost being totally submerged around 25...

92cafc81ff5acfb2a54d2a2c1f57095c1
2009-09-12 14:00:00

An ancient eagle that once ruled the skies above New Zealand appears to have been a predator, and may have fed on human flesh, researchers said Friday. Writing in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Ken Ashwell of the University of New South Wales in Australia and Paul Scofield of the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand reported that the Haast's eagle was a predatory creature. "This science supports Maori [native New Zealander] mythology of the legendary pouakai or hokioi, a huge bird that...

2009-07-22 09:38:23

Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defenses to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defense to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life."Plants are attacked by a bewildering array of herbivores and in response they have evolved a variety of defenses to deter predators such as thorns...

2009-07-06 11:38:24

Australian and New Zealand scientists say they have completed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird. Researchers from the University of Adelaide and New Zealand's Landcare Research Ltd. said they used prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters to identify four moa species after retrieving ancient DNA from the feathers believed to be at least 2,500 years old. The giant birds -- measuring up to 8.2 feet and weighing 550 pounds -- were the dominant...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
Related