Life as We Know It
Mosquitoes, New Zealand flightless birds, pink lizards and more
- By Amanda Bensen, Joseph Caputo, T.A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes and Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian magazine, March 2009
(The Natural History Museum, London)
Name: Moa, flightless birds (order Dinornithiformes) from New Zealand that went extinct hundreds of years ago.
High Life: Some species stood taller than nine feet and were believed to have feasted primarily on trees and shrubs.
Low Life: Some bent low to eat herbs, according to a new analysis of fossilized moa dung by researchers from New Zealand and Australia.
Balanced Life: Several of these plant species are now rare, perhaps in part because moas no longer spread their seeds around.
"A Novel Vertebrate Eye Using Both Refractive and Reflective Optics," Hans-Joachim Wagner et al., Current Biology, January 27, 2009
"An overlooked pink species of land iguana in the Galápagos," Gabriele Gentile et al., PNAS, January 13, 2009
"Coprolite deposits reveal the diet and ecology of the extinct New Zealand megaherbivore moa (Aves, Dinornithiformes)," Jamie R. Wood et al., Quaternary Science Reviews, December 2008
"Harmonic Convergence in the Love Songs of the Dengue Vector Mosquito," Lauren J. Cator et al., Science, January 8, 2009