Story: Moa

A four-legged moa (1st of 2)

A four-legged moa

There was such patriotic enthusiasm about the size of New Zealand’s moa that one collector, thought to be James Gault of Canterbury, increased the height of the bird by combining the neck vertebrae of two moa. In order for this distorted beast to be able to stand, he added an extra pair of legs. It ended up looking more like a giraffe than a moa.

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Hocken Library, University of Otago

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Trevor H. Worthy, 'Moa - Appearance and breeding', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/11379/a-four-legged-moa (accessed 15 May 2021)

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