Now new DNA testing techniques have allowed scientists at the University of Adelaide to show the kiwi is in fact most closely related to the long-extinct Madagascan elephant bird

Our national bird has been rescued from the clutches of the Australians, thanks to advances in DNA technology.

For the past two decades, biologists have believed the kiwi’s closest relatives were the emu and the cassowary.

Scientists at the university’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA took tiny fragments of the elephant bird’s DNA, using 1000-year-old bones in Te Papa’s national collection.

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