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DNA Points to Human Role in Moa Extinction

DNA analysis of moa bones

Ancient DNA analysis of moa bones from this site on New Zealand’s South Island helped reveal that moa were very well adapted to deal with the effects of climate and habitat change.

By NIC RAWLENCE

A new study of ancient DNA has revealed that New Zealand’s giant flightless moa were well-adapted to deal with the effects of climate and habitat change, leaving only overhunting and habitat destruction by humans as reasons for their extinction

Nic Rawlence is a postdoctoral researcher in palaeoecology and ancient DNA in the University of Otago's Department of Zoology.

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