Evolution, Moa or Less

Moa and Kiwi 1901 Korensky/PD

Moas roamed New Zealand. Unfortunately, these huge flightless birds became extinct six hundred years ago. Enough of their remains have been found so that DNA analysis is possible. It turns out that there was a problem in declaring different species of moa. And this problem raises questions about "primitive" humans and human evolution.


The article also has an interesting creationist hypothesis about how moas reached New Zealand in the first place.
Giant flightless birds up to three metres (10 ft) high that once roamed New Zealand have been frustrating evolutionary scientists trying to make sense of their DNA. They could analyse the DNA because moas became extinct only some 600 years or so ago, and thus scientists have access to the remains of many specimens, as Professor Alan Cooper, a New Zealander at the University of Adelaide, Australia, explains:

“The moa … I’ve been working on them my entire career. I think they’re fantastic things. They’re like an emu but XXL. Actually we’ve just reconstructed what they’d look like using feathers from caves all over New Zealand.”
From analyzing the DNA from these feathers, Cooper said that he and his colleagues were able to identify “which species each feather came from”—and here’s where it got interesting.
You can finish reading "Of Moas and Men", here.

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