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dc.contributor.authorBunce, M.en
dc.contributor.authorSzulkin, M.en
dc.contributor.authorLerner, R.en
dc.contributor.authorBarnes, I.en
dc.contributor.authorShapiro, B.en
dc.contributor.authorCooper, A.en
dc.contributor.authorHoldaway, R.en
dc.identifier.citationPLoS Biology, 2005; 3(1):1-10en
dc.description.abstractPrior to human settlement 700 years ago New Zealand had no terrestrial mammals—apart from three species of bats—instead, approximately 250 avian species dominated the ecosystem. At the top of the food chain was the extinct Haast's eagle, Harpagornis moorei. H. moorei (10–15 kg; 2–3 m wingspan) was 30%–40% heavier than the largest extant eagle (the harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja), and hunted moa up to 15 times its weight. In a dramatic example of morphological plasticity and rapid size increase, we show that the H. moorei was very closely related to one of the world's smallest extant eagles, which is one-tenth its mass. This spectacular evolutionary change illustrates the potential speed of size alteration within lineages of vertebrates, especially in island ecosystems.en
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityMichael Bunce, Marta Szulkin, Heather R. L. Lerner, Ian Barnes, Beth Shapiro, Alan Cooper, Richard N. Holdawayen
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen
dc.rightsCopyright: © 2005 Bunce et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectAnimals; Eagles; DNA; Body Size; Ecosystem; Evolution, Molecular; Paleontology; Fossils; Molecular Sequence Data; New Zealanden
dc.titleAncient DNA provides new insights into the evolutionary history of New Zealand's extinct Giant Eagleen
dc.typeJournal articleen
pubs.library.collectionEarth and Environmental Sciences publicationsen
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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