Story: Moa

Upland moa head

Upland moa head

This head of an upland moa (Megalapteryx didinus) was found in the 19th century in a cave near Cromwell, in Central Otago. It had been mummified by the dry, cold conditions of the cave. Unlike most other moa species, the upland moa had a sharp beak, and the comparative size of the eye sockets and nose suggest that its sense of smell was better than its eyesight.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: MA_B.016309

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 - Appearance and breeding', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

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