1 Jul 2009

DNA-reconstruction of moa carried out

10:16 pm on 1 July 2009

Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the extinct moa, using pre-historic feathers recovered from Otago.

Landcare Research and Adelaide University scientists have identified four known species from feathers believed to be at least 2500 years old.

It was determined the feathers had not faded or changed colour.

PhD student Nicolas Rawlence says they also found out the stout-legged moa, heavy- footed moa, South Island giant moa and the upland moa all had drab, fair camouflage plumage similar to the kiwi.