Tagged: ancient dna

From the mists of time: the enduring mystery of the adzebills - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 07, 2019

As a kid, I remember visiting Canterbury Museum with my Dad. I was fascinated and terrified in equal measure by the giant moa skeleton in the entrance, just as my four-year-old is today. But what really interested me was the much smaller, but not less diminutive, skeleton of an extinct adzebill. The adzebills were built like tanks. They … Read More

Sentinels of change: prehistoric penguin species raise conservation conundrum - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 27, 2018

Fossil hunting along the rugged and beautiful Wairarapa coastline is a dangerous exercise. Prevail against the harsh winds that blow you off your feet and fossil penguins will be your reward – prehistoric nuggets of gold from a lost world that is only now yielding its secrets. Risking life and limb: At the rugged Te Kaukau Point, bones of … Read More

TB or not TB: origin and antiquity of tuberculosis in New Zealand - Guest Work

Guest Author Oct 25, 2018

Dr Michael Knapp Recently, our team at the University of Otago embarked on a quest to identify how and when Tuberculosis (TB) reached New Zealand, by looking for the genetic signature of Tuberculosis bacteria in ancient human and animal remains from across the country. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease which has been called a “global health emergency” by the World … Read More

Cave bears and brown bears and admixture, oh my! - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Aug 28, 2018

Last week the story of a hybrid hominin was in the news: the discovery that remains found in Denisova Cave were those of a 13-year-old girl whose parents were a female Neandertal and a Denisovan male. This was exciting stuff: we already know, from genomic analysis, that interspecies matings involving Neanderthals, Denisovans, and H.sapiens happened – but to actually find the remains of someone … Read More

Ancient teenager the first known person with parents of two different species - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 23, 2018

Michelle Langley, Griffith University A new ancient DNA study published in Nature today reports the first known person to have had parents of two different species. The studied remains belonged to a girl who had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) lived throughout Europe and Western Asia until around 30,000 years … Read More

Fossil Lucky Dip from a Lost World - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 10, 2018

I’m lying on a beautiful golden sand beach. The bright sun is beating down upon me. I could be on an isolated, tropical island, if not for the lone giant moa sculpture looming above my head. This sentinel to a lost world stands at the aptly named Old Bones Backpackers at Awamoa, (originally named Te Awa Kōkōmuka), south of Oamaru. Read More

Ancient DNA giveth and ancient DNA taketh away: The penguin that never was - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Aug 18, 2017

Dr Nic Rawlence & Tess Cole, University of Otago Australian politics is mired in a duel-citizenship scandal. Certain politicians have discovered that they are in fact part kiwi and accusations of interference in Australian politics are flying. This trans-Tasman identity shock, however, is not unique to Australian politicians. Now new ancient DNA research has surprisingly shown it’s also found … Read More