Soft-tissue specimens from pre-European extinct birds of New Zealand
Rawlence, N. J., Wood, J. R., Scofield, R. P., Fraser, C., & Tennyson, A. J. D. (2012). Soft-tissue specimens from pre-European extinct birds of New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, published online on 20 September 2012.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7785
We provide the first complete review of soft tissue remains from New Zealand birds that became extinct prior to European settlement (c. AD 1800). These rare specimens allow insights into the anatomy and appearance of the birds that are not attainable from bones. Our review includes previously unpublished records of ‘lost’ specimens, and descriptions of recently discovered specimens such as the first evidence of soft tissues from the South Island goose (Cnemiornis calcitrans). Overall, the soft tissue remains are dominated by moa (with specimens from each of the six genera), but also include specimens from Finsch's duck (Chenonetta finschi) and the New Zealand owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles novaezealandiae). All desiccated soft tissue specimens that have radiocarbon or stratigraphic dates are late Holocene in age, and most have been found in the semi-arid region of Central Otago.
Taylor & Francis
This article has been published in the journal: Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. © 2012 the Royal Society of New Zealand. Used with permission.