Elephant Bird

Egg gathering wipedout its share of wild life, mostly long before modern fire arms ever showedup.  The elephant bird surely had nostrategy beside physical presence and that was no deterrent to humanity.   Simple noise making would lead such a bird awaywhile a confederate grabbed the prize.

I suspect thatsooner or later we will develop the ability to resurrect all these lost genomesfrom DNA samples.  Plenty of remains havebeen found and secured in museums so that this is becoming highly likely forall recently extinct species. 

The ones I want tosee most are the mammoth and mastodon.

In fact I think itis time to set up a global  extinctgenome recovery program against the day of species restoration.  Madagasgar is an important refugia as is New Guinea forAge of Reptiles types.  Perhaps Alaska can have a few mammothsand mastodons and their friends.  We willisolate other obvious islands for additional groups.

We will no longer bepassive bystanders.

David Attenborough and the mystery of the elephant bird

The largest bird to ever live on the planetwas driven to extinction by humans eating its massive eggs, according to a newtelevision documentary by Sir David Attenborough.

An elephant bird and Sir David Attenborough with the elephant birdegg  Photo: De Agostini Picture Library /BBC

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent 7:30AM GMT 19 Dec 2010

As souvenirs go, the giant fossilised egg thatSir David Attenborough keeps wrapped up for safe-keeping in the cellar of his London home is not bad for someone with a 60 year careeras Britain'sforemost natural history documentary maker.

Now in a bid to find out more about the footlong egg he collected on the island of Madagascar 50 years ago and the birdsthat laid them, Sir David has returned to the island off the east coast ofAfrica for a new BBC documentary on a quest to discover what happened to thelargest birds to ever live on the planet.

The egg was laid by an elephant bird, whichwere more than 10 feet tall and weighed around half a ton, but what caused thehuge birds to die out has remained a mystery, with some claiming they werehunted to extinction by humans and others blaming climate change.

But Sir David claims there is now compellingevidence that suggests the birds were gradually killed off by the early humaninhabitants on the island stealing the giant eggs for food. He believes thebirds themselves were revered by the indigenous populations, but the use oftheir eggs for food, combined with the destruction of the forests where theelephant birds lived, led to their eventual demise.

Recent archaeological evidence has revealedthe fragments of elephant bird egg shells among the remains of human fires,suggesting that the eggs, which are 180 times bigger than a chicken egg,regularly provided food for entire families.

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