Dinornithiformes


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Related to Dinornithiformes: Dinornis, Moas

Dinornithiformes

[‚dīn·ȯr‚nith·ə′fȯr‚mēz]
(paleontology)
The moas, an order of extinct birds of New Zealand; all had strong legs with four-toed feet.

Dinornithiformes

 

(also Dinornithes), an order of extinct ratite birds, the moas. The order comprises two families, which number more than 20 species. The height ranged up to 3 m (Dinornis maximus). The head was small, broad, and flat, and the bill was large, broad, and decurved. The neck was long, and the trunk, massive. The sternum had no keel. The anterior extremities (wings) were reduced, and the well-developed legs had three or four toes and a relatively short tarsometatarsus. Moa remains have been found in Lower Pliocene deposits but are more numerous in Anthropogenic deposits. Moas were distributed in New Zealand, where they lived in forests and fed on seeds and plant roots. The last moas were killed off by man at the turn of the 19th century.

REFERENCE

Lambrecht, K. Handbuch der palaeornithologie. Berlin, 1933.
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