Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

Volume: 8 , Pages: 280-287.

DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1212(199807/08)8:4<280::AID-OA428>3.0.CO;2-J

Language: English

Full reference: Barnes, I., Dobney, K.M. & Young, P.W. 1998. The Molecular Palaeoecology of Geese: Identification of Archaeological Goose Remains using Ancient DNA Analysis. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 8: 280-287. https://www.dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1212(199807/08)8:4<280::AID-OA428>3.0.CO;2-J

Keywords: ancient DNA, anser, Branta, geese, mitochondrial DNA, polymerase chain reaction


The remains of six species of geese are commonly recovered from archaeological sites in Britain dating from the Saxon and later periods. However, identification of this material to species level is hampered by a lack of morphological variation and a large overlap in size. To address this issue we obtained DNA sequence data for a section of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from modern samples of each species, and successfully identified several DNA markers for Branta species. No markers were found within the cytochrome b gene for the genus Anser. Ancient DNA techniques were then used to recover DNA from goose bones excavated from two archaeological sites. The DNA sequences enabled identification of Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) from one site and confirmed the presence of Anser species at another.

Number of results: 1