The Moa, NZ natural history facts, New Zealand Guide Book - weather, language, food, music, history.

The Moa

Up to 2.5m in height the moa, dinornis maximus must have been one of the most spectacular sights in early Aotearoa. From the time of the first Maori settlements in the around 700A.D. to shortly before European settlement, the moa provided a plentiful supply of food.

Although there were some 24 species of moa, ranging from the size of a turkey on up, excessive exploitation as a food source led to their extinction. Intact feather, bone and skin samples still exist, though, and active research is being carried out to read the moa genome, giving hope for their eventual return.



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