Sunday, December 23, 2012
|Preserved Megalapteryx foot, Natural History Museum|
The appendage in the picture, which is currently held by the Museum of New Zealand, was found in a cave on Mount Owen in the 1980's. It belongs to Megalapteryx didinus (commonly known as the Upland Moa). one of a variety of extinct giant birds native to New Zealand, collectively known as Moa. You may already be familiar with at least the common name of this particular group of flightless birds -which went extinct around the year
|Sir Richard Owen 1879 W/the largest Moa, D. novaezealand|
Though all nine species of Moa are officially (meaning- scientifically) classified as extinct. Like many recently extinct species (such as the much more recently lost Tasmanian tiger(thylacine) there are those who claim a small population of moa may have managed to survive into the modern world, and now live hidden away somewhere in the remote wilderness.
The most recent of such claims, at least that I could find anyway, originated from a cryptozoologist in New Zealand, named Rex Gilroy. In 2008, Gilroy claimed to have discovered 35 separate ground prints in a remote area of northern New Zealand, which he believes belong to a colony of up to 15 little scrub moa, amomalopteryx didiformi (Bush Moa). And while his claims are at least more plausible than those of isolated populations of giant moas still roaming the New Zealand wilderness, neither Gilroy's -nor any other similar claims- have ever been verified.
Source: Wikipedia: Moa - Megalapteryx didinus - Dinornis novaezealandiae - New Zealand.com (Gilroy's Tracks) - Reddit
Image Credit: Wikimedia commons
So I came up somewhat dry in my search for interesting moa videos. But, I did find this reading from, David Attenborough's Life Stories- Giant Birds. Which deals primarily with Madagascar's Elephant bird- particularly the size of it's eggs. But there's also a bit about the moa towards the end. Plus, it's David Attenborough, so- WIN.
Posted by YouTube user: Samael994