Independent origins of New Zealand moas and kiwis.

  title={Independent origins of New Zealand moas and kiwis.},
  author={Alan Cooper and C{\'e}cile Mourer-Chauvir{\'e} and Geoffrey Keith Chambers and Arndt von Haeseler and A. C. Wilson and Svante P{\"a}{\"a}bo},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={89 18},
Two groups of flightless ratite birds existed in New Zealand during the Pleistocene: the kiwis and the moas. The latter are now extinct but formerly included 11 species. We have enzymatically amplified and sequenced approximately 400 base pairs of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene from bones and soft tissue remains of four species of moas as well as eight other species of ratite birds and a tinamou. Contrary to expectation, the phylogenetic analysis shows that the kiwis are more closely related… CONTINUE READING