Almost 20 years ago, Alan Cooper from the Australian Centre of Ancient DNA found that the Kiwi might actually originate from Australia.
Given that the emu and cassowary are the Kiwis closest living relatives and that New Zealand split off from Australia when Gondwana broke up, this was a logical suggestion.
Alan Cooper is from New Zealand himself and says: „This was a huge psychological blow in New Zealand and extremely unpopular“.
A new paper published today in Science sets the record straight. Alan Cooper and his team have been able to analyse the ancient DNA of two extinct birds from Madagascar and have found the Kiwis to be their closest relatives.
The emu, cassowary, ostrich, rhea and kiwi are known as „ratite birds“ they can’t fly because they have lost the bone that wing muscles can attach to. The fact that the DNA of the kiwi closely…
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