Story: Pacific migrations

Fossil remains of the giant megapode Megavitiornis altirostris (3rd of 3)

Fossil remains of the giant megapode Megavitiornis altirostris

The giant megapode, a flightless bird, was no doubt quickly killed off by human settlers when they arrived on islands inhabited by these birds. These remains of a bird’s foot are from the Fijian island of Viti Levu. The only megapode that still lives on in Polynesia is Megapodius pritchardii. Smaller than the giant megapode, it survives on the volcanic Tongan island of Niuafo’ou.

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Palaeofaunal Surveys
Photograph by Jim Palmer and T. H. Worthy

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin, 'Pacific migrations - Into Remote Oceania: Lapita people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 December 2022)

Story by Geoff Irwin, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017