Story: Extinctions

South Island giant moa

South Island giant moa

The largest species of moa was probably the South Island giant moa, Dinornis robustus. This species, along with the North Island moa (Dinornis novaezealandiae) used to be known as Dinornis giganteus. Its bones are commonly found in archaeological middens (ancient rubbish sites). This reconstruction shows that these moa were quite slender, with a flattened skull and beak.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Artwork 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:

Richard Holdaway, 'Extinctions - The concept of extinction', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Richard Holdaway, published 24 Sep 2007