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The Moa the merrier
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DougalLongfootOffline
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PostPosted: 07-12-2006 00:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Gordon but no. This book was about NZ phenomena, and definitely mentioned Moa sightings. Might get the Yowie book though. Does it have much more than their previous book Out of the Shadows?
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Patrick_HudsonOffline
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Joined: 19 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: 07-12-2006 14:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall the 1993 sighting and photo, and was keenly interested Fortean stuff at the time as I was planning a book myself (life intervened, and now I live in London). Mr Freaney was characterised by everyone I spoke to as a bit of a local joker. My conclusion at the time was "dubious" (still good book fodder, mind).

I would also be surprised if they found any surviving moa. Some parts of NZ are still wild, but nowhere is really that remote.

On the matter of recent crypto books, I don't know of any, but don't really keep up ny more (outside of the pages of FT!) The go-to man for NZ stuff used to be Peter Hassel - does he have a presence here?

Patrick H
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 13-01-2009 16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some shithot Moa news.

Quote:
Giant bird feces records pre-human New Zealand
http://www.physorg.com/news150976795.html

January 12th, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A treasure trove of information about pre-human New Zealand has been found in faeces from giant extinct birds, buried beneath the floor of caves and rock shelters for thousands of years.

A team of ancient DNA and palaeontology researchers from the University of Adelaide, University of Otago and the NZ Department of Conservation have published their analyses of plant seeds, leaf fragments and DNA from the dried faeces (coprolites) to start building the first detailed picture of an ecosystem dominated by giant extinct species.

Former PhD student Jamie Wood, from the University of Otago, discovered more than 1500 coprolites in remote areas across southern New Zealand, primarily from species of the extinct giant moa, which ranged up to 250 kilograms and three metres in height. Some of the faeces recovered were up to 15 centimetres in length.

'"Surprisingly for such large birds, over half the plants we detected in the faeces were under 30 centimetres in height," says Dr Wood. "This suggests that some moa grazed on tiny herbs, in contrast to the current view of them as mainly shrub and tree browsers. We also found many plant species that are currently threatened or rare, suggesting that the extinction of the moa has impacted their ability to reproduce or disperse."

"New Zealand offers a unique chance to reconstruct how a 'megafaunal ecosystem' functioned," says Professor Alan Cooper, Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, which performed the DNA typing.

"You can't do this elsewhere in the world because the giant species became extinct too long ago, so you don't get such a diverse record of species and habitats. Critically, the interactions between animals and plants we see in the poo provides key information about the origins and background to our current environment, and predicting how it will respond to future climate change and extinctions."

"When animals shelter in caves and rock shelters, they leave faeces which can survive for thousands of years if dried out," Professor Cooper says. "Given the arid conditions, Australia should probably have similar deposits from the extinct giant marsupials. A key question for us is 'where has all the Australian poo gone?' ".

The team's findings have recently been published in Quaternary Science Reviews, an international geological research journal.

Journal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/636/description#description

Provided by University of Adelaide
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 17-03-2014 20:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
DNA evidence points to humans for demise of moas
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25241-dna-evidence-points-to-humans-for-demise-of-moas.html#.Uyde0fl_vhs
19:00 17 March 2014 by Jeff Hecht

DNA says we are guilty. Early human settlers probably did wipe out the moas of New Zealand. Moa DNA suggests that their population was stable before we turned up.

New Zealand was home to nine species of flightless moa until humans arrived around AD 1300. Within a century, they were all gone. The archaeological record shows humans hunted moas, perhaps to extinction.

But it is hard to separate human impacts on animal populations from other effects such as climate change. Large animals like mammoths also died out when people arrived in the Americas and Australia, which looks suspicious. But a recent study found that Arctic mammoths vanished after a climate-linked shift in vegetation, not because of overhunting.

Morten Allentoft of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues studied DNA from 281 fossils of four moa species. They found that moa genetic diversity was nearly constant for 3000 years before their extinction, a sign of a stable population. "We can only blame ourselves," says Allentoft.

No long fuse

Allentoft's findings contradict earlier studies by Neil Gemmell at the University of Otago in Mosgiel, New Zealand. In 2004 he studied mitochondrial DNA from moa fossils and found that New Zealand had a moa population of 3 to 12 million between 4000 BC and AD 1000. A separate study had said there were just 159,000 moas when the first humans arrived 300 years later, so Gemmell suggested that something else had depleted moa populations before human hunting.

But those estimates aren't reliable, as DNA isn't a good record of population size, says Allentoft. It is only good for showing trends.

The new study "appears to take care of the 'long fuse' decline in moa species", says Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, who wasn't involved in either study.

Journal reference: PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314972111
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amyasleighOffline
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PostPosted: 18-03-2014 17:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

The end of the moas – “hoped-for, versus most-likely”. Ramonmercado’s quote here, tells of latest studies suggesting that it was indeed direct human predation – rather than earlier climatic-or-other factors, leaving relatively few -- that speedily did them in.

Correlation found, to book recently posted-of by me – William Stolzenburg’s “Rat Island”. His scenario in that book, of Polynesians from further north – the Maori, or their predecessors – reaching New Zealand in the 13th century AD, and on getting there, landing theirselves and their dogs and the Pacific rat, brought deliberately as a food species. He “scenarioises” – agreeing with Ramonmercado's cited piece – the extinction of the moas within roughly a century of humans’ getting to New Zealand: direct human predation, plus the Pacific rat (let to roam free and reproduce immediately on reaching NZ, and eager to eat eggs), wiped them out.

As mentioned in previous posts of mine – I find Mr. Stolzenburg an almost-suicide-tempting doom-and-gloom-merchant. In his world, loathsome humankind plus their four-legged friends-and / or parasites, inevitably go viral on any hitherto untouched environment, and comprehensively wreck it. Re NZ, I have to feel that he’s right. Once humans got there, it was curtains for the moas. If the “noble savages, living in harmony with nature, exercising cautious stewardship re the biosphere” thing ever happened, it wasn’t on these particular islands.
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