Molecular evidence for the identity of the Magenta petrel
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A lone petrel was shot from the decks of an Italian warship (the 'Magenta') while it was sailing the South Pacific Ocean in 1867, far from land. The species, unknown to science, was named the 'Magenta petrel' (Procellariiformes, Procellariidae, Pterodroma magentae). No other specimens of this bird were collected and the species it represented remained a complete enigma for over 100 years. We compared DNA sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from the Magenta petrel to that of other petrels using phylogenetic methods and ancient DNA techniques. Our results strongly suggest that the Magenta petrel specimen is a Chatham Island taiko. Furthermore, given the collection location of the Magenta petrel, our finding indicates that the Chatham Island taiko forages far into the Pacific Ocean (near South America). This has implications for the conservation of the taiko, one of the world's rarest seabirds.
Molecular Ecology Resources
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Molecular evidence for the identity of the Magenta petrel, Molecular Ecology Resources Volume 9, Issue 2, 2009, 458-461, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02370.x.
Animal Systematics and Taxonomy