Eastern Moa Facts

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Emeus; pronounced eh-MAY-us


Plains of New Zealand

Historical Epoch:

Pleistocene-Modern (2 million-500 years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 6 feet tall and 200 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Squat body; large, broad feet


About Emeus:

Of all the oversized prehistoric birds that inhabited New Zealand during the Pleistocene epoch, Emeus was the least suited to withstand the assaults of foreign predators.

Judging by its squat body and oversized feet, this must have been an unusually slow, ungainly bird, which was easily hunted to extinction by human settlers. The closest relative of Emeus was the much taller, but equally doomed Dinornis (the Giant Moa), which also vanished off the face of the earth about 500 years ago.
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