08 January 1999
Vol 283, Issue 5399

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER An emu eggshell discovered in a Pleistocene dune at Lake Eyre, central Australia. The calcite matrix of the shell resists alteration and thus can be dated directly (the one pictured is ~14,000 years old) and preserves a record of the bird's dietary preferences. Analyses of more than 1000 eggshells of emu and another flightless bird (Genyornis newtoni) suggest that human activity, rather than climate, was responsible for extinction of the latter ~50,000 years ago. See page 205. [Photo: G. H. Miller]