The study, which also included DNA sequencing of 22 bird species including flightless and flighted birds, shows ratites became flightless around 65 million years ago.
Our study suggests that the flighted ancestors of ratites appear to have been ground-feeding birds that ran well," said Phillips.
Parker says that because of trade regulations, most ratites must be bred in the United States.
A number of schools, among them Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, Mississippi State University, and Louisiana State University, are investigating the nutritional and medical needs of ratites, as well as other factors related to the birds' viability as agricultural products.
Those figures are attracting droves of farmers to ratite
seminars, Progressive Farmer says, but seminars often do not give would-be growers a clear picture of the risks involved.
The researchers conclude that, while clearly members of the ratite group, moas diverged from other ratites early in their evolution.
The team compared DNA fragments extracted from the remains of four different species of moa with comparable DNA sequences from eight modern species of ratite birds.
When compared with ratites
, results of hematologic testing in tinamou show decreased numbers of leukocytes and heterophils, a decreased heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, and higher lymphocyte counts relative to results from ostrich (Struthio camelus).
To minimize the risk of regurgitation and aspiration, adult ratites
should be deprived of food for 12 to 24 hours before induction of anesthesia.
Though most of the text focuses on psittacine bird and passerine bird diseases and therapeutics, Chapters 36 through 42 provide information on the management of nonpsittacine birds, including waterfowl, racing pigeons, passerine birds, raptors, and ratites
Reference ranges obtained from other published avian data, including those for psittaciformes, ratites
, galliformes, anseriformes, and raptors, were similar to condors in this study.
Effects of hemolysis on serum chemistry analytes in ratites