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Extinct bird may change geological theories

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extinct wren/Keulemans

From ScienceDaily:

A University of Adelaide study into New Zealand’s acanthisittid wrens has provided compelling evidence that, contrary to some suggestions, New Zealand was not completely submerged under the ocean around 21 to 25 million years ago.

“Most surprisingly, we found that some of the wren species were only distantly related to each other, potentially sharing a common ancestor over 25 million years ago,” Dr Mitchell says.

“Previously, researchers have suggested that New Zealand was completely submerged 21 to 25 million years ago, which implies that all of New Zealand’s unique plants and animals must have immigrated and diversified more recently than that time.

“But the ancient divergences we found among the wrens suggest that they have been resident in New Zealand for more than 25 million years, and possibly as long as 50 million years (when New Zealand became disconnected from the rest of Gondwana). More. Paper. (paywall) – Kieren J. Mitchell, Jamie R. Wood, Bastien Llamas, Patricia A. McLenachan, Olga Kardailsky, R. Paul Scofield, Trevor H. Worthy, Alan Cooper. Ancient mitochondrial genomes clarify the evolutionary history of New Zealand’s enigmatic acanthisittid wrens. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2016; 102: 295 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.05.038

Science is full of surprises if we are not too dogmatic to notice them.

See also: New Zealand crows get smarter every time we study them

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3 Replies to “Extinct bird may change geological theories

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Conclusions here are all about DATING bird fossils.
    The dating is based on geology paradigms.
    These birds have only been in New Zealand some 4500 years or less.

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    YES! I completely agree with Robert Byers.

    This is a question of Geology, not chromosome guesses.

    So the guys doing the Biology MUST start from the data provided by the guys doing Geology. And when the Biology guys don’t like the Geology, the Biology guys simply LOSE.

  3. 3
    Cabal says:

    Mr. Byers are basing his claims on Biblical paradigms, i.e. a very young earth. All evidence points to an age of the earth of around 4.6 billion years. Intelligent Design has no problems with that. Where ID is in opposition to science is when science rules out God as the designer, leaving all the work to be done by natural selection. That’s why ID mainly is the argument that NS is not the cause of speciation in biology, ID is the cause.

    Maybe mahuna can provide an example of how biology and geology are in opposition wrt to timing of events. Is that the rule? ISTM there are enough examples of how geology and biology are in accord about dating.

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