The moa[3][4] wur nine species (in sax genera) o flichtless birds endemic tae New Zealand.[5] The twa lairgest species, Dinornis robustus an Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached aboot 3.6 m (12 ft) in hicht wi neck outstretched, an weighed aboot 230 kg (510 lb).[6]

Giant Haasts eagle attacking New Zealand moa.jpg
Airtist's rendeetion o a Haast's Eagle attackin moa
Scientific classification e
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Cless: Aves
Superorder: Palaeognathae
Bonaparte, 1853[1]
Order: Dinornithiformes
Bonaparte, 1853
Teep species
Dinornis novaezealandiae
Owen, 1843

See text

6 genera, 9 species
  • Dinornithes

Moa belang tae the ratite group in the order Dinornithiformes.[5] The nine[5] species o moa wur the anly wingless birds, lackin even the vestigial wings which aw ither ratites hae. Thay wur the dominant herbivores in New Zealand's forest, shrubland an subalpine ecosystems for thoosands o years, an till the arrival o the Māori wur hunted anly bi the Haast's Eagle. It is generally considered that maist, if nae aw, species o moa died oot bi A.D. 1400 due tae owerhuntin bi the Māori an habitat decline.


  1. Brands, S. (2008)
  2. Stephenson, Brent (2009)
  3. In Māori wirds dae nae uise s tae indicate plural, an thus "moa" is baith plural an singular. Some Inglis speakers apply this rule tae thair uise o the word within Inglis, altho ithers uise the regularly furmed Inglis plural "moas".
  4. In some ither Polynesian leids (Tahitian, Cook Islands Maori, Samoan...), "moa" is the generic name for chicken, fowl (Dictionary of the Tahitian Academy {fr/ty}; Jasper Buse, Raututi Taringa, "Cook islands Maori Dictionary" (1995); Samoan lexicon)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 OSNZ (2009)
  6. Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)


  • Brands, Sheila (August 14, 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification, Order Dinornithiformes". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved Feb 4, 2009.
  • Stephenson, Brent (January 5, 2009). "New Zealand Recognised Bird Names (NZRBN) database". New Zealand: Ornithological Society of New Zealand. Archived frae the oreeginal on 2015-04-25. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  • OSNZ (Jan 2009). "New Zealand Recognised Bird Names (NZRBN) database". Ornithological Society of New Zealand Inc. Retrieved Feb 14, 2011.
  • Davies, S.J.J.F. (2003). "Moas". In Hutchins, Michael (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 95–98. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0.