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.

Using this item

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.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Trevor H. Worthy, 'Moa - Scientific classification', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

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