Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/67056
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Type: Journal article
Title: Detecting pigments from colourful eggshells of extinct birds
Author: Igic, B.
Greenwood, D.
Palmer, D.
Cassey, P.
Gill, B.
Grim, T.
Brennan, P.
Bassett, S.
Battley, P.
Hauber, M.
Citation: Chemoecology, 2010; 20(1):43-48
Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag Ag
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0937-7409
1423-0445
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Branislav Igic, David R. Greenwood, David J. Palmer, Phillip Cassey, Brian J. Gill, Tomas Grim, Patricia L. R. Brennan, Suzanne M. Bassett, Phil F. Battley and Mark E. Hauber
Abstract: The known chemical basis of diverse avian eggshell coloration is generated by the same two classes of tetrapyrrole pigments in most living birds. We aimed to extend the evolutionary scope of these patterns by detecting pigments from extinct birds’ eggs. In our samples biliverdin was successfully extracted from subfossil shell fragments of the blue-green egg-laying upland moa Megalapteryx didinus, while protoporphyrin was extracted from the beige eggs of two other extinct moa species. Our data on pigment detection from eggshells of other extant paleognath birds, together with published information on other modern lineages, confirm tetrapyrroles as ubiquitous and conserved pigments contributing to diverse eggshell colours throughout avian evolution.
Keywords: Egg matrix; Pigmentation; Radiation; Ratite
Rights: Copyright Birkhauser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009
RMID: 0020112273
DOI: 10.1007/s00049-009-0038-2
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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