Boobooks in Australia - and Lesser Sooty Owl

To: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Subject: Boobooks in Australia - and Lesser Sooty Owl
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 11:30:34 +1100
G'day Lloyd et al

The big problem with DNA is that each researcher is almost always looking at way under one percent of the birds DNA. I am sure that when we look at the birds anatomy, physiology, morphology and behaviour (including calls) we are looking at way more than one percent of its DNA. Add to that the proposition that we do not yet understand how much of the DNA works - particularly in combination with other genes and switch-genes. I would place much more confidence in the non-DNA at this stage of our learning process.


Prof Michael Tarburton


On 20/12/2012, at 12:35 PM, Lloyd Nielsen wrote:

It is to be hoped that the boobook studies under way will take into account other factors along with genetics. Including calls is probably a good indication. I am afraid I can have no confidence in some of the findings of geneticists where determination of species is based on DNA evidence alone. While some of these decision are OK and useful, a few are ridiculous.

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