Moa (genus Dinornis)

The moas are a family of large, flightless birds once inhabiting New Zealand and now extinct. The largest of the six species, Dinornis maximus, stood 3 metres tall. The smallest were the size of turkeys.

They prospered in an environment free of predators and competition, and inhabited the low foothills, eating vegetation. During the late Pleistocene and early recent times New Zealand underwent a period of ecological instability, which affected the moas. However, they were still abundant when the Polynesians arrived about 1000 years ago, and the people hunted them for food and for the bones which they fashioned into tools. Most of them had disappeared by the end of the 17th century, although some survived into the 19th century. The true reason for their extinction is still in doubt.

Anomalopteryx (family Anomalopterygidae)

The anomalopteryx were related to the moa, but smaller. The family is divided into two subfamilies, each with three genera. The largest stood 175 cm tall, and the smallest was as large as a turkey. Like the moa, they were restricted to New Zealand. Being smaller and more agile than the moa, they inhabited the mountains. They died out by the 19th century.