Story: Moa

The heavy-footed moa

The heavy-footed moa

This reconstruction of the heavy-footed moa (Pachyornis elephantopus) portrays the extraordinary bulk of this species. It had massive legs, and its large olfactory lobes suggest that it had a keen sense of smell. The heavy-footed moa lived in the forests and shrublands of the east coast of the South Island. Its remains have been found in middens on the Waitaki and Rakaia rivers.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Watercolour on paper by Paul Martinson

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Trevor H. Worthy, 'Moa - Scientific classification', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/11360/the-heavy-footed-moa (accessed 18 November 2018)

Story by Trevor H. Worthy, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015