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Moa Leg Bone Replica A measures 31.3 in. The Moa Leg Bone Replica A is Museum Quality polyurethane cast made in USA. New Zealand South Island Pleistocene.
There were nine species (in six genera) of now-extinct flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). It is estimated that, when Polynesians settled New Zealand circa 1280, the moa population was about 58,000.
Moa belong to the order Dinornithiformes, traditionally placed in the ratite group.However, their closest relatives have been found by genetic studies to be the flighted South American tinamous, once considered to be a sister group to ratites. The nine species of moa were the only wingless birds lacking even the vestigial wings that all other ratites have. They were the dominant herbivores in New Zealand’s forest, shrub land, and subalpine ecosystems for thousands of years, and until the arrival of the Māori, were hunted only by Haast’s eagle. Moa extinction occurred around 1440 years ago, primarily due to over hunting by the Māori.
Since the discovery of the first moa bones in the late 1830s, thousands more have been found. They occur in a range of late Quaternary and Holocene sedimentary deposits, but are most common in three main types of site: caves, dunes, and swamps.
Bones are commonly found in caves or tomo (the Maori word for doline or sinkhole, often used to refer to pitfalls or vertical cave shafts). The two main ways that the moa bones were deposited in such sites were birds that entered the cave to nest or escape bad weather, and died in the cave and birds that fell into a vertical shaft and were unable to escape. Moa bones have been found in caves throughout New Zealand.
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