Emeus; pronounced eh-MAY-us
Plains of New Zealand
Pleistocene-Modern (2 million-500 years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 6 feet tall and 200 pounds
Squat body; large, broad feet
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.