Navigation Links
Smithsonian scientists use fossil feathers reveal lineage of extinct, flightless ibis
Date:11/22/2011

A remarkable first occurred recently at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History when ornithologists Carla Dove and Storrs Olson used 700- to 1,100-year-old feathers from a long extinct species of Hawaiian ibis to help determine the bird's place in the ibis family tree. The feathers are the only known plumage of any of the prehistorically extinct birds that once inhabited the Hawaiian Islands.

Discovered with a nearly complete skeleton, the feathers retained enough microscopic structure to allow the scientists to confirm the classification of the bird, known by its scientific name Apteribis sp, as a close relative of the American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) and scarlet ibis (Eudocimus buber). DNA analysis confirmed this classification.

Remarkably, the feathers also retained enough pigmentation for Dove and Olson to determine that the bird was brown-black to ivory-beige in color. This is a first―the plumage color of any prehistorically extinct Hawaiian bird up until now had been speculation.

Apteribis sp. is one of only two species of flightless ibis, both now extinct. Its skeleton differs so much from its mainland ancestors that the bird's relationship to other ibises could only be determined through the study of its feathers and DNA analysis.

"This find is highly unusual because feathers do not preserve well and often decay before a bird is fossilized," Dove said. "These weren't fossil imprints in a rock, but feathers and bones we could actually pick up."

Exceptional geologic circumstances led to the preservation of the feathers inside a lava cave on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. The floor of the cave was partially covered in a deep layer of flaky gypsum crystals, which, for hundreds of years absorbed humidity in the cave and created an arid environment ideal for preservation of the feathers.

From a taxonomic standpoint feathers are significant because the sha
'/>"/>

Contact: John Gibbons
gibbonsjp@si.edu
202-633-5187
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian perspective: Biodiversity in a warmer world
2. Smithsonian puts tropical Eastern-Pacific shore fishes online
3. Smithsonian puts tropical eastern Pacific shore fishes online
4. New movement models tested at the Smithsonian in Panama
5. Smithsonian scientists receive coveted BBVA Ecology and Conservation Award
6. Smithsonian scientist warns that palm oil development may threaten Amazon
7. First jaguar photo taken at Smithsonian Research Station in Panama
8. Smithsonian scientists find the frog legs trade may facilitate spread of pathogens
9. Stress and trade-offs explain lifes diversity: New Smithsonian model
10. Smithsonian hosts 2010 International CAM Workshop in Panama
11. Smithsonian scientists help create first frozen repository for Hawaiian coral
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smithsonian scientists use fossil feathers reveal lineage of extinct, flightless ibis
(Date:6/17/2015)... GERMANTOWN, Maryland , and HILDEN, Germany ... (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today launched ... DNA evidence in forensic laboratories in the United ... integrated solution to simultaneously analyze multiple key genomic markers (short ... Investigator ® Quality Sensor to evaluate the quality of ...
(Date:6/16/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , June 16, 2015 /CNW ... announce their partnership centralized around the incorporation of ... mobile point-of-care diagnostic laboratory, the Mo-POD™. This unprecedented ... the BIO International Conference at the ... from June 15 th to ...
(Date:6/16/2015)... 16, 2015 Fingerprint Cards (FPC) raises ... it will amount to at least 340 MSEK to that ... rapid increase in market growth and orders received the revenue ... that revenue for 2015 will exceed 1,500 MSEK to an ... 2,200 MSEK. Due to receipt of orders of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):QIAGEN Launches New Genetic Fingerprinting Kits for U.S. Forensic Labs 2QIAGEN Launches New Genetic Fingerprinting Kits for U.S. Forensic Labs 3QIAGEN Launches New Genetic Fingerprinting Kits for U.S. Forensic Labs 4QIAGEN Launches New Genetic Fingerprinting Kits for U.S. Forensic Labs 5handyem and FlowMetric Diagnostics announce their partnership in the development of Flow Cytometry- Based Solutions in diagnostic capabilities 2handyem and FlowMetric Diagnostics announce their partnership in the development of Flow Cytometry- Based Solutions in diagnostic capabilities 3Fingerprint Cards Raises the Revenue Guidance for Q2 2015 and for the Full Year 2015 2Fingerprint Cards Raises the Revenue Guidance for Q2 2015 and for the Full Year 2015 3
... colorful lightare illuminating new opportunities in biomedical research, cryptography ... a secret problem, a kind of nervous tic. They ... tree lights, which can reduce their usefulness. Scientists ... the blinking problem and have induced quantum dots to ...
... some of which are so tiny that 30 can fit across ... they are among the key organisms taking the greenhouse gas carbon ... are so heavy that when they die in the oceans they ... of the surface waters and locking it into sediments below. ...
... forward-thinking trio of physicists identified the phenomenon known ... in nature---scientists have been applying its concepts to ... at the University of Michigan and the University ... nests on a coffee farm in Mexico also ...
Cached Biology News:JILA solves problem of quantum dot 'blinking' 2Ecologists, material scientists pursue genetics of diatom's elegant, etched casing 2Ecologists, material scientists pursue genetics of diatom's elegant, etched casing 3Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency 2Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency 3
(Date:7/1/2015)... , July 1, 2015   Decision ... frequently cited advantages of Otezla are its oral ... profile, as reported by surveyed rheumatologists. Otezla was ... for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis in ... current standard of care includes conventional oral treatments ...
(Date:7/1/2015)... CHANDLER, Ariz. , July 1, 2015 ... announced it has earned three Gold, three Silver, and ... Business Awards gala held in Chicago ... recognized as the premier business awards program in the ... and recognizes our company,s strength in developing leaders, cultivating ...
(Date:7/1/2015)... July 1, 2015  UCB, a multinational biopharmaceutical ... global leader in designing, transforming, and running intelligent ... in recognition of their close collaboration in driving ... global business services (GBS) finance organization. ... clients that work together effectively to embrace the ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... , June 30, 2015  NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren ... month on his first mission to the International Space ... 8 to 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 7. ... Star City, Russia . The interviews will ... Television highlighting his mission training. To schedule an ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Surveyed Rheumatologists Report That Otezla's Oral Administration is its Single Greatest Advantage Over Currently Available Treatment Options 2Surveyed Rheumatologists Report That Otezla's Oral Administration is its Single Greatest Advantage Over Currently Available Treatment Options 3Isagenix Earns Nine American Business Awards 2Isagenix Earns Nine American Business Awards 3UCB and Genpact Receive Aecus Innovation Award for Success in Global Business Services 2UCB and Genpact Receive Aecus Innovation Award for Success in Global Business Services 3UCB and Genpact Receive Aecus Innovation Award for Success in Global Business Services 4UCB and Genpact Receive Aecus Innovation Award for Success in Global Business Services 5NASA Astronaut Preps for First Space Station Mission, Available for Media Interviews 2
... attempt to measurably increase the amount of capital available ... Institutions and the Department of Commerce , ... , ,Lorrie Keating Heinemann, secretary of DPI, said the ... percentage of their funds and perhaps become limited partners ...
... - Mirus Bio Corp. , a Madison-based company engaged ... granted a United States patent on a new injection delivery method. ... an effective method to deliver nucleic acids such as RNA for ... University of Wisconsin-Madison , it has developed a more rapid ...
... - In an effort to spur entrepreneurship in a ... Foundation has named the University of Wisconsin-Madison ... the university has received $5 million to help train ... campus initiative in 2004 to bring entrepreneurship education to ...
Cached Biology Technology:State agencies propose venture capital center 2Mirus Bio awarded patent on RNA delivery 2Mirus Bio awarded patent on RNA delivery 3UW gets $5M to extend entrepreneurship 2
Borosilicate Glass. Certified for use with the Beacon 2000 Systems, 1,000 tubes/case...
Although each Beacon 2000 System includes one preinstalled sample chamber (size specified at time of order), optional chambers are available and easily retrofit by the user....
... Immunogen : Recombinant human ... 5mg/ml BSA, 0.15M NaCl, 0.05% ... of glycerol to 30% Quality ... on acid extracts of murine ...
cDNA Size Fractionation Columns offer an efficient and convenient method for size-fractioning double-stranded cDNA....
Biology Products: