Moa

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Moas being hunted. Painting by Heinrich Harder.
Comparison of a kiwi, ostrich, and Dinornis, each with its egg

The Moa were large flightless birds. They lived only in New Zealand, and are now all extinct.

There were eleven species (in six genera) of Moa.[1] The largest and best known were the genus Dinornis, which grew up to 3.6 meters (12 feet) tall, and weighed as much as 230 kilograms (510 pounds).

The group of birds to which the Moa belongs had been in existence since the Cretaceous period. The Māori people arrived in New Zealand from Oceania about a thousand years ago. Then, moas lived in large numbers, especially on South Island. Archaeological sites with evidence of Moa hunting are all over New Zealand. The moas became extinct about five hundred years ago.[2] The moas had survived being hunted by Haast's Eagle. However, they could not survive being hunted for food by the Maoris.

Recent extinctions (also mostly birds) have been caused by habitat change and introduced species.

Large birds[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Ornithological Society of New Zealand: New Zealand recognised bird names (NZRBN) database [1]
  2. Martin P.S. and Klein R.G. (eds) Quaternary extinctions: a prehistoric revolution. University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ.