Moa | Facts & Information

# Moa | Facts & Information

Moa | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Moa

All 11 species are the only wading birds without wings. They are predominantly herbivorous birds that lived in the New Zealand Forest in subalpine and shrubby areas. They lived for thousands of years until the appearance of an eagle species that supposedly led the species to extinction.

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Moa is a prehistoric animal that lived on the territory of New Zealand before its tragic extinction in the 13th and 14th centuries. This interesting and mysterious creature belonged to the Dinornithiformes order and was related to modern birds such as ostriches and emus. Moa was a large-sized animal, unsuitable for flight, but adapted to life on the ground.

One of the distinctive characteristics of this animal was its impressive height. Moa, including the giant species, had an average height of about 3.6 meters, making Moa among the largest birds that ever existed on Earth. Additionally, Moa had a significant weight, with some individuals weighing up to 250 kilograms.

Moa's feathers were densely arranged on their bodies and they did not have functional wings. Instead, they used their feathers for protection and body temperature control. Their feathers were often gray or brown in color, and these camouflage characteristics helped them hide and avoid predators. Furthermore, these feathers were harvested and used by the Maori locals to create various objects and clothing.

Moa also had a relatively small head compared to the size of their massive body. These birds did not have teeth and relied on their strong beaks for feeding. Their diet mainly consisted of grass, leaves, seeds, and fruits that they found in forests and secondary vegetation. This was probably a survival strategy for Moa, as the food they consumed was available throughout the year.

One of the main reasons for Moa's extinction was human intervention. When Polynesian people colonized New Zealand around 1280, Moa's habitat was disrupted and their populations were heavily hunted. Moa were easy to catch and feed on for humans due to their large size and the fact that they did not have wings to fly. People obtained both meat and eggs from Moa, and their excessive hunting gradually led to the disappearance of these magnificent animals.

Today, Moa is considered an extinct species, and only their fossil remains remain to help us imagine what these creatures truly looked like. Scientists have been able to reconstruct the Moa skeleton and study their habitat, but their complete secrets still remain a mystery. This prehistoric animal is a symbol of the natural history of New Zealand and has influenced the culture and myths of this region.

In summary, Moa was a remarkable creature that lived on the territory of New Zealand and had impressive height and weight. However, their excessive hunting by humans led to their extinction, and now only fossils remain to help us understand this extinct species. Moa continues to fascinate people and remind us of the prehistoric world that existed before us.









Moa birds have been divided into eleven species and six genera, all of which are non-flying birds that have lived in New Zealand. The two largest species, diornis robustus and diornis novaezelandiae, reached a height of 3.7 m and weight of almost 250kg.

Initially it was assumed that the closest bird to the MOA is the kiwi bird, but DNA tests published in 2005 showed that the Moa comes closest to the Emu bird. Research done in 2010 tells us that the Emu is not the closest relative, but a small terrestrial bird from South America that can fly named Tinamu.Evolution

Since Moa belongs to a group of birds that has no wings and can fly, the following questions have been raised: How did these birds get to New Zealand and where from ? It is thought to have been in New Zealand 70 million years ago when it was glued to Antarctica.


Although scientists have never seen any Moa feed, they deduced from The Shape of the fossils that MOA birds ate plants, twigs and leaves from dwarf trees and shrubs. Just as many other birds also swallow sand or small pebbles in addition to food to aid digestion.


Traces of Moa claws have been found all over the North Island. There's even a picture of the bird's footprints from 1911. Analyzing the distance between the tracks can be said that the speed of movement is small, only a few km / h.

Eggshells are commonly found in archaeological excavations and sand dunes off the coast of New Zealand. Thirty-six whole eggs exist in the museum's collections. They differ greatly in size, probably due to the size of the species types (120 – 240mm). most eggs were white.

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Moa | Facts & InformationMoa | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Moa