These Wings are Made for Walking …

A team of NZ researchers – led by David Lambert of Auckland’s Massey University – has broken new ground in the field of genetics to reveal previously unknown details about the moa. In a world first, Lambert and co analysed the nuclear DNA of fossilised moa remains in order to determine their sex. The study, published in the September 11 issue of Nature, reveals a clear case of reverse sexual dimorphism. Female moa were twice the size of their mates, and undertook foraging duties while male moa reared their young. The new information has helped in the classification of different species of moa – there are now thought to be 11 species, down from 38 20 years ago.


Tags: Auckland  David Lambert  Massey University  moa  Moa DNA  National Geographic  Nature  New Zealand