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Moa
Moa attacked by a Haast's Eagle
Moa attacked by a Haast's Eagle
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Superorder: Paleognathae
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Dinornithidae
Genera

Anomalopteryx (bush moa)
Euryapteryx
Megalapteryx (upland moa)
Dinornis (giant moa)
Emeus
Pachyornis
Download high resolution version (1375x1101, 329 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Binomial name Harpagornis moorei Haast, 1872 Haasts Eagle (Harpagornis moorei), was a massive, extinct eagle that once lived on the South Island of New Zealand. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited[1] example of modern extinction. ... 1500 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... “Animalia” redirects here. ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... “Aves” redirects here. ... Orders Lithornithiformes Ambiornithiformes Gansuiformes Paleocursornithiformes Dinornithiformes Aepyornithiformes Struthoniformes Rheiformes Casuariiformes Apterygiformes Tinamiformes The Paleognathae or paleognaths (old jaws) are one of the two living superorders of birds. ... Families Struthionidae Casuariidae Dinornithidae Apterygidae Rheidae A ratite is any of a diverse group of large, flightless birds of Gondwanian origin, most of them now extinct. ... Binomial name Anomalopteryx didiformis (Owen, 1844) Synonyms Dinornis didiformis Owen, 1844 Dinornis parvus Owen, 1883 Dinornis oweni Haast, 1886 Anomalopteryx antiquus Hutton, 1892 (may be a valid predecessor species) Anomalopteryx parvus Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx oweni Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx didiformis is an extinct bird species known colloquially as the (Lesser) Bush... Binomial name Euryapteryx curtus The North Island Broad-billed Moa, also called Coastal Moa is an extinct species of ratite bird belonging to the Euryapteryx turkey moa genus. ... Megalapteryx didinus is dubbed the upland moa, native to New Zealand. ... Species North Island Giant Moa, (type) Slender Moa, Dinornis new lineage A (undescribed taxon) Dinornis new lineage B (undescribed taxon) Synonyms Palapteryx Owen, 1851 The giant moa (Dinornis) is an extinct genus of ratite birds belonging to the moa family. ... Binomial name Emeus crassus (Owen, 1846) Synonyms Dinornis crassus Owen, 1846 Dinornis casuarinus Owen, 1846 Dinornis huttonii Owen, 1846 (male) Emeus casuarinus Oliver, 1930 Emeus huttonii Oliver, 1930 (male) The Eastern Moa, Emeus crassus, is an extinct species of ratite bird belonging to the moa family. ... Species Heavy-footed Moa, Pachyornis elephantopus (type) Crested Moa, Pachyornis australis Mappins Moa, Pachyornis mappini Pachyornis new lineage A (undescribed taxon) Pachyornis new lineage B (undescribed taxon) Synonyms Cela Oliver, 1949 The genus Pachyornis is an extinct genus of ratites from New Zealand which belonged to the moa family. ...

Moa were giant flightless birds native to New Zealand. They are unique in having no wings, not even small wings, unlike other ratites. Fifteen species of varying sizes are known, with the largest species, the giant moa (Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae), reaching about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height and about 250 kg (550 lb) in weight. They were the dominant herbivores in the New Zealand forest ecosystem. Leaves, twigs and fruit played a big part in their diet. “Aves” redirects here. ... Families Struthionidae Casuariidae Dinornithidae Apterygidae Rheidae A ratite is any of a diverse group of large, flightless birds of Gondwanian origin, most of them now extinct. ... The or meter (see spelling differences) is a measure of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... The U.S. National Prototype Kilogram, which currently serves as the primary standard for measuring mass in the U.S. It was assigned to the United States in 1889 and is periodically recertified and traceable to the primary international standard, The Kilogram, held at the Bureau International des Poids et... The pound (abbreviations: lb or, sometimes in the United States, #) is a unit of mass in a number of different systems, including various systems of units of mass that formed part of English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... A deer and two fawns feeding on some foliage A herbivore is often defined as any organism that eats only plants[1]. By that definition, many fungi, some bacteria, many animals, about 1% of flowering plants and some protists can be considered herbivores. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...

Contents

History

Sir Richard Owen with moa skeleton
Sir Richard Owen with moa skeleton

Moa are thought to have become extinct about 1500, although some reports speculate that a few stragglers of Megalapteryx didinus may have persisted in remote corners of New Zealand until the 18th and even 19th centuries. Image File history File links Dinornis1387. ... Image File history File links Dinornis1387. ... This article, Richard Owen, includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... 1500 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Although it used to be thought that numbers were declining before the impact of colonisation, their extinction is now attributed to hunting and forest clearance by the Polynesian ancestors of the Māori, who settled in New Zealand a few hundred years earlier. Before the arrival of western colonials, moa were hunted by Haast's Eagle, the world's largest eagle, which is also now extinct. This article is about the indigenous people of New Zealand. ... Binomial name Harpagornis moorei Haast, 1872 Haasts Eagle (Harpagornis moorei), was a massive, extinct eagle that once lived on the South Island of New Zealand. ...


Although the indigenous Māori told European settlers tales about the huge birds which they called moa, which had once roamed the flats and valleys, the widespread physical evidence that they had actually existed was never closely examined by early European settlers. The term indigenous peoples has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ...


In 1839, John W. Harris, a Poverty Bay flax trader who was a natural history enthusiast, was given a piece of unusual bone by a Māori who had found it in a river bank. He showed the 15 cm fragment of bone to his uncle, John Rule, a Sydney surgeon, who sent it to Richard Owen who at that time was working at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Owen became a noted biologist, anatomist and paleontologist at the British Museum. 1839 (MDCCCXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Location of Poverty Bay Poverty Bay is the largest of several small bays on the east coast of New Zealands North Island to the north of Hawke Bay. ... This article, Richard Owen, includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... Greek anatome, from ana-temnein, to cut up), is the branch of biology that deals with the structure and organization of living things; thus there is animal anatomy (zootomy) and plant anatomy (phytonomy). ... A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... The British Museum in London is one of the worlds greatest museums of human history and culture. ...


Owen puzzled over the fragment for almost four years. He established it was part of the femur of a big animal, but it was uncharacteristically light and honeycombed. The femur or thigh bone is the longest, most voluminous, and strongest bone of the mammalian bodies. ...


Owen announced to a skeptical scientific community and the world that it was from a giant extinct bird like an ostrich, and named it "Dinornis". His deduction was ridiculed in some quarters but was proved correct with the subsequent discoveries of considerable quantities of moa bones throughout the land, sufficient to construct skeletons of the birds. Binomial name Struthio camelus Carolus Linnaeus, 1758 The present-day distribution of Ostriches. ...


In July 2004, the Natural History Museum in London placed on display the moa bone fragment Owen had first examined, to celebrate 200 years since his birth, and in memory of Owen as founder of the museum. For other similarly-named museums see Museum of Natural History. ...


Taxonomy

Reconstruction of a Moa (Dinornis maximus). Photo taken at a museum in Wellington, in New Zealand, in July, 1980
Dinornis maximus from The New Gresham Encyclopedia
Dinornis maximus from The New Gresham Encyclopedia

The kiwi were once regarded as the closest relatives of the moa, but comparisons of their DNA suggest they are more closely related to the Australian emu and cassowary. (Turvey et al., 2005). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 382 × 599 pixels Full resolution (420 × 659 pixel, file size: 26 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)This photo was taken, by me (Figaro), in a museum in Wellington, New Zealand, during June, 1980. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 382 × 599 pixels Full resolution (420 × 659 pixel, file size: 26 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)This photo was taken, by me (Figaro), in a museum in Wellington, New Zealand, during June, 1980. ... For other uses, see Wellington (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x857, 26 KB) Opis súboru Description: dinornis maximus (the Moa) Source: The New Gresham Encyclopedia (1922) (4 of 11): Deposition -- Feldspar (R) Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x857, 26 KB) Opis súboru Description: dinornis maximus (the Moa) Source: The New Gresham Encyclopedia (1922) (4 of 11): Deposition -- Feldspar (R) Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Species See text. ... Binomial name Dromaius novaehollandiae (Latham, 1790) The Emu has been recorded in the areas shown in black. ... Species Casuarius casuarius Casuarius unappendiculatus Casuarius bennetti Cassowaries (genus Casuarius) are very large flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia. ...


Although dozens of species were described in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many were based on partial skeletons and turned out to be synonyms. More recent research, based on DNA recovered from museum collections, suggest that there were only 11-15 species, including 2-4 giant moa. The giant moa seem to have had pronounced sexual dimorphism, with females being much larger than males; so much bigger that they were formerly classified as separate species (see also below). The giant moa grew as large as 13 feet and became extinct much earlier (also by Māori hunting), about 1300. In zoological nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names that pertain to the same taxon, for example two names for the same species. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living organisms. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ...


Although traditionally reconstructed in an upright position giving impressive height, it is thought more likely that moas carried their heads forward, in the manner of a kiwi in order to graze on low-level vegetation.


Most interestingly, ancient DNA analyses have determined that there were a number of cryptic evolutionary lineages in several moa species. These may eventually be classified as species or subspecies; Megalapteryx benhami which was synonymized with M. didinus has been revealed to be a valid species by the same study (Baker et al., 2005). Ancient DNA can be loosely described as any DNA recovered from biological samples that have not been preserved specifically for later DNA analyses. ...


Sometimes, the Dinornithidae are considered to be a full order (Dinornithiformes), in which case the subfamilies listed below would be advanced to full family status (replacing "-inae" with "-idae"). In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... ... In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is 1) a rank or 2) a taxon in that rank. ...


Thus, the currently recognized genera and species are:

  • Family †Dinornithidae - Moa
    • Subfamily Megalapteryginae - Megalapteryx Moa
      • Genus Megalapteryx
        • Benham's Megalapteryx, Megalapteryx benhami (South Island, New Zealand)
        • Lesser Megalapteryx, Megalapteryx didinus (South Island, New Zealand)
    • Subfamily Anomalopteryginae - Lesser Moa
      • Genus Anomalopteryx
        • Bush Moa, Anomalopteryx didiformis (South Island, New Zealand)
      • Genus Euryapteryx
        • North Island Broad-billed Moa, Euryapteryx curtus (North Island, New Zealand)
        • South Island Broad-billed Moa, Euryapteryx geranoides (South Island, New Zealand)
      • Genus Emeus
        • Eastern Moa, Emeus crassus (South Island, New Zealand)
      • Genus Pachyornis
        • Crested Moa, Pachyornis australis (South Island, New Zealand)
        • Heavy-footed Moa, Pachyornis elephantopus (South Island, New Zealand)
        • Mappin's Moa, Pachyornis mappini (North Island, New Zealand)
        • Pachyornis new lineage A (North Island, New Zealand)
        • Pachyornis new lineage B (South Island, New Zealand)
    • Subfamily Dinornithinae - Giant Moa
      • Genus Dinornis
        • North Island Giant Moa, Dinornis novaezealandiae (North Island, New Zealand)
        • South Island Giant Moa, Dinornis robustus (South Island, New Zealand)
        • Dinornis new lineage A (South Island, New Zealand)
        • Dinornis new lineage B (South Island, New Zealand)

Binomial name Megalapteryx didinus (Owen, 1883) Synonyms Megaladapteryx hectori Haast, 1886 Megalapteryx didinus is dubbed the Upland Moa and was endemic to New Zealand. ... Binomial name Anomalopteryx didiformis (Owen, 1844) Synonyms Dinornis didiformis Owen, 1844 Dinornis parvus Owen, 1883 Dinornis oweni Haast, 1886 Anomalopteryx antiquus Hutton, 1892 (may be a valid predecessor species) Anomalopteryx parvus Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx oweni Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx didiformis is an extinct bird species known colloquially as the (Lesser) Bush... Binomial name Anomalopteryx didiformis (Owen, 1844) Synonyms Dinornis didiformis Owen, 1844 Dinornis parvus Owen, 1883 Dinornis oweni Haast, 1886 Anomalopteryx antiquus Hutton, 1892 (may be a valid precedessor species) Anomalopteryx parvus Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx oweni Oliver, 1949 Anomalopteryx didiformis is an extinct bird species known colloquially as the (Lesser) Bush... Binomial name Euryapteryx curtus The North Island Broad-billed Moa, also called Coastal Moa is an extinct species of ratite bird belonging to the Euryapteryx turkey moa genus. ... Binomial name Emeus crassus (Owen, 1846) Synonyms Dinornis crassus Owen, 1846 Dinornis casuarinus Owen, 1846 Dinornis huttonii Owen, 1846 (male) Emeus casuarinus Oliver, 1930 Emeus huttonii Oliver, 1930 (male) The Eastern Moa, Emeus crassus, is an extinct species of ratite bird belonging to the moa family. ... Binomial name Emeus crassus (Owen, 1846) Synonyms Dinornis crassus Owen, 1846 Dinornis casuarinus Owen, 1846 Dinornis huttonii Owen, 1846 (male) Emeus casuarinus Oliver, 1930 Emeus huttonii Oliver, 1930 (male) The Eastern Moa, Emeus crassus, is an extinct species of ratite bird belonging to the moa family. ... Species Heavy-footed Moa, Pachyornis elephantopus (type) Crested Moa, Pachyornis australis Mappins Moa, Pachyornis mappini Pachyornis new lineage A (undescribed taxon) Pachyornis new lineage B (undescribed taxon) Synonyms Cela Oliver, 1949 The genus Pachyornis is an extinct genus of ratites from New Zealand which belonged to the moa family. ... Species North Island Giant Moa, (type) Slender Moa, Dinornis new lineage A (undescribed taxon) Dinornis new lineage B (undescribed taxon) Synonyms Palapteryx Owen, 1851 The giant moa (Dinornis) is an extinct genus of ratite birds belonging to the moa family. ...

Biology

Reconstruction of two moa species, Otago Museum, Dunedin. Otago Museum holds the world's largest collection of moa remains.

It has been long suspected that the species of moa described as Euryapteryx curtus / E. exilis, Emeus huttonii / E. crassus, and Pachyornis septentrionalis / P. mappini constituted males and females, respectively. This has been confirmed by analysis for sex-specific genetic markers of DNA extracted from bone material (Huynen et al., 2003). More interestingly, the former three species of Dinornis: D. giganteus = robustus, D. novaezealandiae and D. struthioides have turned out to be males (struthioides) and females of only two species, one each formerly occurring on New Zealand's North Island (D. novaezealandiae) and South Island (D. robustus) (Huynen et al., 2003; Bunce et al., 2003); robustus however, comprises 3 distinct genetic lineages and may eventually be classified as as many species as discussed above. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (531x709, 143 KB)Reconstruction of a Moa, Otago Museum, Dunedin. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (531x709, 143 KB)Reconstruction of a Moa, Otago Museum, Dunedin. ... The Otago Museum is a museum situated in Dunedin. ... Dunedin (ÅŒtepoti in Maori) is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the region of Otago. ...


Moa females were larger than males, being up to 150% of the male's size and 280% of their weight. This phenomenon — reverse size dimorphism — is not uncommon amongst ratites, being most pronounced in moa and kiwi. Families Struthionidae (ostriches) Rheidae (rheas) Casuariidae (emus etc. ... Species See text. ...


Claims by cryptozoologists

Though there is no reasonable doubt that moa are extinct, there has been occasional speculation that some may still exist in deepest south Westland, a rugged wilderness in the South Island of New Zealand. Cryptozoologists and others reputedly continue to search for them,[1] but no hard evidence or actual specimens have ever been found, and their efforts are widely considered to be pseudoscientific. In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... The West Coast is one of the administrative regions of New Zealand, located on the west coast of the South Island. ... The South Island The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. ... Cryptozoology is the search for animals that are rumored to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. ... Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ...

Paddy Freaney's picture of what he claimed was a "moa". Even by the standards of cryptozoology, the picture quality is extremely low.

In January 1993, on the West Coast, Paddy Freaney, Sam Waby and Rochelle Rafferty claimed to have seen a large moa-like bird. Analysis of the blurry photograph they claimed was of a moa suggested that the subject could be either a large bird or a red deer. The incident is considered a hoax, especially as Freaney is a hotelier, and may have concocted the story to attract tourists. File links The following pages link to this file: Moa ... File links The following pages link to this file: Moa ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... The West Coast is one of the administrative regions of New Zealand, located on the west coast of the South Island, and is one of the more remote and most sparsely populated areas of the country. ... A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ...


Moa experts say the likelihood of any moa remaining alive and unnoticed is extremely unlikely, since they would be giant birds in a region often visited by hunters and hikers. Freaney cites the rediscovery of the Takahē as evidence that living birds could still exist undiscovered. However, while the hen-sized Takahē could successfully avoid humans, a large moa would have considerably more difficulty in doing so. The Takahē was rediscovered after its tracks were identified, but no reliable evidence of moa tracks has been reported. Hunting is, in its most general sense, the pursuit of a target. ... Many beautiful natural scenes are only accessible if one is willing to hike to get to them. ... Binomial name Porphyrio hochstetteri (A. B. Meyer, 1883) The TakahÄ“ or South Island TakahÄ“, Porphyrio hochstetteri is a flightless bird indigenous to New Zealand which belongs to the rail family. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Notes

  • The word "moa" is both plural and singular, as Māori words do not use "-s" to indicate plural.

Māori or Te Reo Māori, commonly shortened to Te Reo (literally the language) is an official language of New Zealand. ...

References

  • Baker, Allan J.; Huynen, Leon J.; Haddrath, Oliver; Millar, Craig D. & Lambert, David M. (2005): Reconstructing the tempo and mode of evolution in an extinct clade of birds with ancient DNA: The giant moas of New Zealand. PNAS 102(23): 8257-8262. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409435102 PDF fulltext Supporting Information
  • Bunce, Michael; Worthy, Trevor H.; Ford, Tom; Hoppitt, Will; Willerslev, Eske; Drummond, Alexei & Cooper, Alan (2003): Extreme reversed sexual size dimorphism in the extinct New Zealand moa Dinornis. Nature 425(6954): 172-175. DOI:10.1038/nature01871 HTML abstract Supplementary information
  • Huynen, Leon J.; Millar, Craig D.; Scofield, R. P. & Lambert, David M. (2003): Nuclear DNA sequences detect species limits in ancient moa. Nature 425(6954): 175-178. DOI:10.1038/nature01838 HTML abstract Supplementary information
  • Millener, P. R. (1982): And then there were twelve: the taxonomic status of Anomalopteryx oweni (Aves: Dinornithidae). Notornis 29: 165-170.
  • Turvey, Samuel T.; Green, Owen R. & Holdaway, Richard N. (2005): Cortical growth marks reveal extended juvenile development in New Zealand moa. Nature 435(7044): 940-943. DOI:10.1038/nature03635 HTML abstract

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), mostly commonly referred to as PNAS, is the official publication of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Nature is one of the most prominent scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Nature is one of the most prominent scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Nature is one of the most prominent scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

See also

This is a list of extinct New Zealand animals. ... For a list of early taxa of birds known only from fossils, see Fossil birds. ... Island gigantism is a biological phenomenon by which the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically over generations. ... Genera Chelychelynechen Thambetochen Ptaiochen The Moa-nalos are an extinct group of aberrant ducks that used to live on the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific. ...

External links


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