Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/78395
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Type: Journal article
Title: A megafauna's microfauna: gastrointestinal parasites of New Zealand's extinct Moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes)
Author: Wood, J.
Wilmshurst, J.
Rawlence, N.
Bonner, K.
Worthy, T.
Kinsella, J.
Cooper, A.
Citation: PLoS One, 2013; 8(2):1-9
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1932-6203
1932-6203
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Jamie R. Wood, Janet M. Wilmshurst, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Karen I. Bonner, Trevor H. Worthy, John M. Kinsella and Alan Cooper
Abstract: We perform the first multidisciplinary study of parasites from an extinct megafaunal clade using coprolites from the New Zealand moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes). Ancient DNA and microscopic analyses of 84 coprolites deposited by four moa species (South Island giant moa, Dinornis robustus; little bush moa, Anomalopteryx didiformis; heavy-footed moa, Pachyornis elephantopus; and upland moa, Megalapteryx didinus) reveal an array of gastrointestinal parasites including coccidians (Cryptosporidium and members of the suborder Eimeriorina), nematodes (Heterakoidea, Trichostrongylidae, Trichinellidae) and a trematode (Echinostomida). Parasite eggs were most prevalent and diverse in coprolites from lowland sites, where multiple sympatric moa species occurred and host density was therefore probably higher. Morphological and phylogenetic evidence supports a possible vicariant Gondwanan origin for some of the moa parasites. The discovery of apparently hostspecific parasite taxa suggests paleoparasitological studies of megafauna coprolites may provide useful case-studies of coextinction.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal Tract; Animals; Birds; DNA Primers; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Base Sequence; New Zealand; Extinction, Biological
Rights: Copyright: © 2013 Wood 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 author and source are credited.
RMID: 0020125786
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057315
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

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