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Researchers reconstruct genome of extinct species of flightless bird, the little bush moa

Still Waters

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The little bush moa was once one of the biggest birds in the world—about the size of a modern turkey, they went extinct shortly after the arrival of human settlers in New Zealand. Prior to that, they roamed the forested islands of New Zealand for millions of years. They were unique due to a complete lack of wings. Prior partial sequencing has shown that they had the genes needed to grow wings, but over time, they had mutated as the birds slowly became flightless land dwellers.

In their study, published in the journal Science Advances, the group sequenced DNA recovered from a fossilized bone found on South Island. 


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