Science: Moa in Aspic

When a woolly mammoth died on the Siberian tundra, it sometimes fell into a quagmire. There the permafrost, operating like a modern freezer, preserved the carcass intact for thousands of years. In temperate New Zealand there was no permafrost but in South Island's Pyramid Valley paleontologists have found a good substitute. From about 18,000 B.C. until 2,-000 years ago, the valley contained a swamp whose lush vegetation attracted moas—great, flightless birds which weighed up to a quarter of a ton.

Many a moa perished in the ooze, which eventually got to be the...

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