moa

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Related to Dinornis maximus: Dinornis giganteus

moa

(mō`ə) [Maori], common name for an extinct flightless bird of New Zealand related to the kiwikiwi
or apteryx
, common name for the smallest member of an order of primitive flightless birds related to the ostrich, the emu, and the cassowary. The kiwi, named by the Maoris for its shrill, piping call, is most closely related to the extinct moa.
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, the emu, the cassowary, and the ostrichostrich,
common name for a large flightless bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa and parts of SW Asia, allied to the rhea, the emu and the extinct moa. It is the largest of living birds; some males reach a height of 8 ft (244 cm) and weigh from 200 to 300 lb (90–135
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. The various species ranged in size from that of a turkey to the 10-ft (3-m) Dinornis giganteus. The bird had a short stout bill and was wingless—even the shoulder girdle was lacking in most species. Remains preserved in caves and bogs include bones, pieces of skin, feathers, and egg shells. Although the birds were hunted largely by the Maoris, the reason for the moas' extinction is not precisely known. Moas, along with several other orders of extinct and extant birds, belong to a group called ratitesratite
, common and general term for a variety of flightless birds characterized by a flat, raftlike sternum rather than the keeled sternum, designed to support flight muscles, typical of most birds.
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, all of which are flightless and share other common anatomical features. It is estimated that there were around 10 species of moas. Moas are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Dinornithiformes, family Dinornithidae.

Moa

 

a city and port on the northeastern coast of Cuba, located in Oriente Province. Population, 15,000 (1970). Combines for nickel and cobalt processing and housing construction are located there, and commercial fishing is carried on. Nickel, cobalt, iron ore, and chromites are mined in the vicinity of Moa.

moa

large ostrichlike bird, hunted chiefly for its food; it died out in 1914. [Ecology: Hammond, 290]

moa

any large flightless bird of the recently extinct order Dinornithiformes of New Zealand (see ratite)