The fossil record of moas (Aves: Dinornithiformes) older than the Otira (last) glaciation.

T. H. Worthy, A. R. Edwards, P. R. Millener

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Forty records of fossil moa bones (Aves: Dinomithiformes) considered to be older than 75, 000 years (Otira Glaciation) are reviewed. The ages of the provenanced specimens are reassessed and the oldest is concluded to be no more than 2.5 million years old. There are 11 Haweran, 8 Castlecliffian, 6 Nukumaruan and 15 unprovenanced records. All but two records come from the North Island, in the Taranaki, Wanganui and Hawke§ Bay districts. The taxa represented by the pre-Otira Glaciation fossil record are: Anomalopteryx didiformis, Pachyornis elephantopus, Emeus crassus, Euryapteryx geranoides, E. curtus, Dinornis novaezealandiae, D. struthoides. There is still no significant record of the presumed long history (probably more than 20 million years, and perhaps more than 80 million years) of moas in New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-118
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Aves: Dinornithiformes
  • Castlecliffian
  • Haweran
  • Moas
  • New Zealand fossil record
  • Nukumaruan
  • Pleistocene
  • Pliocene


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