Dinornis

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Related to giant moa: Steller's sea cow

Dinornis

 

a genus of extinct birds of the order Dinornithiformes. Remains of Dinornis are known from the Pleistocene and Quaternary deposits of New Zealand. There are five species. Members of the genus grew to a height of 3 m and, with the Madagascar Aepyornis, were the largest birds of prey. Their eggs weighed as much as 8 kg. Like the Aepyornis, Dinornis was exterminated by man in the 18th century.

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Charlotte Oskam and Michael Bunce, Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, were able to isolate mitochondrial DNA from the eggshells of several extinct megafauna, including the giant moa of New Zealand and a 19,000-year-old emu from Australia.
They then reconstructed the appearance of the stout-legged moa, heavy-footed moa, upland moa and the South Island giant moa.
Jamie Wood, from the University of Otago, discovered more than 1500 faeces (coprolites) in remote areas across southern New Zealand, primarily from species of the extinct giant moa, which ranged up to 250 kilograms and three meters in height.