A crew of scientists at the Harvard University, in the US, is approaching the resurrection of the “Bush Moa”, a bird originally to New Zealand which got extinct more than 700 years ago.
The researchers were able to reconstruct the bird’s genome using a DNA sample they’ve extracted from a toe that can be seen at the Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, Canada.
The “Bush Moa” birds were close relatives to emus and ostriches and were divided into nine sub-species.
The smallest kind of “Bush Moa” was the most common among them in the 13th century and was present on the Southern and Northern New Zealand’s islands. Unfortunately, the bird got extinct due to overhunting during the Polynesians settling in the area.
High Throughput Sequencing to be used to revive the “Bush Moa” extinct bird
“High throughput sequencing has revolutionized the field of ancient DNA (aDNA) by facilitating recovery of nuclear DNA for greater inference of evolutionary processes of extinct species than is possible from mitochondrial DNA alone,” one of the project’s authors explained.
The same method can be used to revive other long-gone bird species, thanks to the fact that the birds present almost the same structures of the genomes and would be much simple for the scientists to rebuild them.
“The fact that they could get a genome from a little bush moa toe is a big deal since now we might be able to use their data to do other extinct bird species,” explained the science leader at Revive And Restore group, Ben Novak.
However, a dispute yet storms over the subject of resurrecting Bush Moa and other long-extinct species, as many scientists and ecologists consider we should focus on the existent species of birds and animals that are currently on the brink of extinction and need our help.