Tag Archives: moa

South Canterbury Contractors Unearth Moa Bones

South Canterbury Contractors Unearth Moa Bones

Contractors at a site in South Canterbury have made an unexpected find while digging a trench – dozens of bones belonging to the long-extinct moa. Workers spotted the bones during excavations in an area which…

Moa’s Range of Ecological Roles Irreplaceable

Moa’s Range of Ecological Roles Irreplaceable

Filling the ecological gap left by the extinction of the moa with imported Australian emus and cassowaries would not work, according to insights into the giant flightless birds’ feeding behaviours. The findings, reported in the…

NZ Scientists Bring Extinct Birds Back to Life

NZ Scientists Bring Extinct Birds Back to Life

A collaboration between scientists at Massey University, the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa bring extinct birds species back to life with 3D scanning. “Technology like 3D printing is the way of the…

Flying Australian Kiwis Could Put Paid to Moa Ancestry

Flying Australian Kiwis Could Put Paid to Moa Ancestry

New fossil research suggests the flightless kiwi and emu share a common ancestor able to fly, which travelled over to New Zealand from Australia millions of years ago. Experts have long assumed that the kiwi…

Moa Bones Kill Dino DNA Dream

Moa Bones Kill Dino DNA Dream

The dream of resuscitating dinosaur species – a la Jurassic Park – has been dealt a death blow in a new study examining the decay rate of DNA in the bones of the extinct…

Mammoth but fragile

Mammoth but fragile

Australian scientists have found that eggs from the giant flightless moa were miniscule and vastly disproportionate to the bird. Eggshells identified by DNA as belonging to the two largest, heaviest moa species, Dinornis robustus…

Moa Eggshells Tell All

Moa Eggshells Tell All

Scientists in New Zealand and Australia have extracted the DNA from the fossil eggshells of 3000-year-old moa. It is the first time that scientists have succeeded in extracting ancient DNA from the fossilised eggshells…

Ancient Mystery Solved

Ancient Mystery Solved

The now extinct giant Haast’s eagle ruled the skies over New Zealand 750 years ago attacking moa from mountain perches and capable of killing small children. Because of their large size – these eagles…

True Colours

True Colours

The oldest moa feathers yet discovered and their DNA are providing New Zealand and Australian scientists with clues to the plumage of the giant bird – perhaps not unlike a giant chicken and speckled…

Pre-Human New Zealand

Pre-Human New Zealand

Paleontology researchers from the University of Adelaide, University of Otago, and the NZDEC have begun to paint a picture of ancient life on the New Zealand islands by investigating the feces of the giant…

Moa, Moa and More Moa

Moa, Moa and More Moa

New scientific evidence reveals that humans may not be entirely responsible for the extinction of the moa. According to research undertaken in NZ and the US, there were 3 to 12 million moa roaming the forests…

These Wings are Made for Walking …

These Wings are Made for Walking …

A team of NZ researchers – led by David Lambert of Auckland’s Massey University – has broken new ground in the field of genetics to reveal previously unknown details about the moa. In a world first,…

Old Bones

Old Bones

Cache of moa bones and other fossils found under Canterbury vineyard.

Bird DNA

Bird DNA

“The first ever functional genome sequences from an extinct species have been mapped by scientists at Oxford University. The mitochondrial DNA sequences were obtained from two giant moa and a Madagascan elephant-bird.”

Old Birds

Old Birds

Entering into the debate over cloning, Dr. Alan Cooper of Oxford comments that, despite the moa-mapping efforts of his team, “it is crucial that we do not become complacent and start assuming that we will be…

Moa Manipulation

Moa Manipulation

Digital manipulation is an example of Stephen Jay Gould’s ‘Great Asymmetry’: creation takes much longer than destruction or consumption. “It takes millions or billions of years for evolution to produce a species well-adapted to its environment, while…

Moa Simulation: The Strange World of Canterbury Ecology

Moa Simulation: The Strange World of Canterbury Ecology

New Zealand has more small-leaved, tangled shrubs than anywhere else in the world. Some experts think the plants evolved like this to deter the now-extinct moa from making them dinner, but Canterbury University ecologist Dave Kelly doesn’t…

The Mighty Moa

The Mighty Moa

Preview of Discovery Programme: “Discovery takes a look at an extraordinary (and extinct) New Zealand bird, the moa. The story of the moa is one of mystery and imagination. It reads like a good detective story”.

New Zealand Scientists Find out More About Moa

New Zealand Scientists Find out More About Moa

In an article in Science new evidence suggests that a huge flightless birds called the moa was extinct within a few decades after humans’ first arrived at the bird’s New Zealand homeland, suggesting that whole species can…