25 Apr 2013

Coprolites and Extinct Moa

From Our Changing World, 9:34 pm on 25 April 2013

By Alison Ballance

Jamie Wood with a moa coprolite

Jamie Wood holds a dried moa dropping (images: A. Ballance)

Scientists call them coprolites. You and I would call them fossil dung. And it turns out these dried droppings can give remarkable insights into the life and times of extinct animals, such as the giant flightless moa.

Alison Ballance heads to Landcare Research at Lincoln where Jamie Wood tells her what surprising things he’s been learning about these mysterious birds from the poo they left behind.

You can read more about the extinct moa in ‘Moa – the life and times of New Zealand’s legendary bird’ by Quinn Berentson (Craig Potton Publishing 2012).

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