Reconstruction of heavy-footed moa Pachyornis elephantopus, copyright Paul Martinson.

Belongs within: Palaeognathae.

The Dinornithiformes, moas, are a group of moderately to extremely large flightless birds known from New Zealand (an historical record of a species from Australia was based on a specimen of mislabelled provenance) that became extinct following human colonisation of the region.

Characters (from Worthy & Holdaway 2002): Skull with small orbits, large olfactory cavities, broad across occipital region. Basitemporal platform with prominent basipterygoid processes. Basiparasphenoidal rostrum long, with triangular expansions extending laterally beneath antorbital plate. Maxilla usually with large dorsal inflation enclosing cavity (maxillary antrum). Beak short, may be pointed or rounded, curved down at tip. 21–23 cervical, six dorsal, 18 sacral, and eleven caudal vertebrae, no pygostyle. Pelvis broad at and posterior to acetabulum. Wing entirely absent, pectoral girdle represented only by vestigial scapulocoracoid bone without glenoid facet. Sternum with well-developed lateral processes. Femur with concave articular surface for antitrochanter on pelvis, tibiotarsus with osseous bridge over tendinal groove, tarsometatarsus with two hypotarsal ridges.

<==Dinornithiformes [Anomalopterygidae, Anomalopteryginae, Dinornithes, Dinornithoidea, Emeidae]
    |--Megalapteryx Haast 1886 BH05, CC10 [incl. Palaeocasuarius Rothschild 1907 CC10]
    |    |--M. didinus (Owen 1883) (see below for synonymy) CC10
    |    `--M. benhami Archey 1941 BKB15, CC10
    `--+--Dinornis Owen 1843 BH05, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |    |--*D. novaezealandiae Owen 1843 CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |    `--D. robustus Owen 1846 (see below for synonymy) CC10
       `--+--Anomalopteryx Reichenbach 1853 ML14, CC10 [=Anomalornis Hutton 1897; incl. Graya Bonaparte 1856]
          |    `--*A. didiformis (Owen 1843) (see below for synonymy) CC10
          `--+--Pachyornis Lydekker 1891 ML14, CC10 [incl. Mauiornis Oliver 1949 WH02, Pounamua Oliver 1949 WH02]
             |    |--P. geranoides (Owen 1848) ML14, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |    `--+--*P. elephantopus (Owen 1856) CC10, BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |       `--P. australis Oliver 1949 BKB15, CC10
             `--Emeinae CC10
                  |--Emeus Reichenbach 1853 BH05, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    `--*E. crassus (Owen 1846) (see below for synonymy) CC10
                  `--Euryapteryx Haast 1874 (see below for synonymy) CC10
                       |--*E. gravis (Owen 1870) CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                       `--E. curtus (Owen 1846) (see below for synonymy) CC10

*Anomalopteryx didiformis (Owen 1843) [=Dinornis didiformis, *Anomalornis didiformis; incl. Anomalopteryx antiqua Hutton 1893, Anomalopteryx antiquus Hutton 1892, Dinornis dromaeoides Owen 1844, Anomalopteryx dromaeoides, *Graya dromaeoides, D. dromioides Owen 1846, D. (Palapteryx) dromioides, Anomalopteryx fortis Hutton 1893, Anomalornis gracilis Hutton 1897, Dinornis oweni Haast 1886, Anomalornis owenii, Pachyornis owenii, Dinornis parvus Owen 1883, Anomalopteryx parva, Anomalopteryx parvus] CC10

Dinornis Owen 1843 BH05, CC10 [=Megalornis Owen 1843 non Gray 1841 CC10; incl. Moa Reichenbach 1853 CC10, Movia Reichenbach 1853 CC10, Owenia Gray 1855 CC10, Palapteryx Owen 1846 CC10, Tylopteryx Hutton 1891 CC10; Dinornithidae]

*Dinornis novaezealandiae Owen 1843 CC10 [=D. novaezelandiae CC10, *Megalornis novaezealandiae CC10; incl. D. excelsus Hutton 1891 CC10, D. firmus Hutton 1891 CC10, D. gazella Oliver 1949 CC10, D. giganteus Owen 1843 CC10, *Moa gigantea CC10, D. gigas Owen 1846 CC10, D. gracilis Owen 1854 CC10, *Tylopteryx gracilis CC10, D. hercules Oliver 1949 CC10, D. ingens Owen 1844 CC10, *Movia ingens CC10, *Palapteryx ingens CC10, D. struthioides Lydekker 1891 CC10, D. struthoides Owen 1844 CC10, *Owenia struthoides CC10, Tylopteryx struthoides WH02]

Dinornis robustus Owen 1846 [=D. ingens var. robustus, Palapteryx robustus; incl. D. altus Owen 1879, D. maximus Haast 1869, Palapteryx plenus Hutton 1891, D. potens Hutton 1891, D. strenuus Hutton 1893, D. torosus Hutton 1891, D. validus Hutton 1891] CC10

Emeus Reichenbach 1852 BH05, CC10 [incl. Meionornis Haast 1874 CC10, Mesopteryx Hutton 1891 CC10, Syornis Reichenbach 1853 CC10]

*Emeus crassus (Owen 1846) [=Dinornis crassus, Euryapteryx crassa, Eu. crassus, Syornis crassus; incl. Dinornis casuarinus Owen 1846, Anomalopteryx casuarina, Cela casuarinus, Emeus casuarinus, *Meionornis casuarinus, Mesopteryx casuarina, *Syornis casuarinus, Dinornis huttoni Owen 1879, Emeus huttonii, Megalapteryx huttoni, *Mesopteryx huttoni, Dinornis rheides Owen 1870, Cela rheides] CC10

Euryapteryx Haast 1874 [incl. Cela Reichenbach 1853 non Moehring 1758, Celeus Bonaparte 1856 non Boie 1831, Zelornis Oliver 1949] CC10

Euryapteryx curtus (Owen 1846) [=Dinornis curtus, Anomalopteryx curta, A. curtus, *Cela curtus, *Celeus curtus; incl. Euryapteryx exilis Hutton 1897, *Zelornis exilis, E. tane Oliver 1949] CC10

*Euryapteryx gravis (Owen 1870) CC10 [=Dinornis gravis CC10; incl. Emeus boothi Rothschild 1907 CC10, Euryapteryx boothi WH02, Eu. compacta Hutton 1893 CC10, Emeus gravipes Lydekker 1891 CC10, Eu. gravipes CC10, Emeus haasti Rothschild 1907 CC10, Zelornis haasti CC10, Euryapteryx kuranui Oliver 1930 CC10, Emeus parkeri Rothschild 1907 CC10, Euryapteryx pygmaeus Hutton 1891 CC10, Pachyornis pygmaeus CC10]

Megalapteryx didinus (Owen 1883) [=Dinornis didinus, Anomalopteryx didina, Meionornis didinus, Mesopteryx didina, Mes. didinus; incl. Palaeocasuarius elegans Rothschild 1907, *P. haasti Rothschild 1907, Megalapteryx hamiltoni Rothschild 1907, *M. hectori Haast 1886, M. tenuipes Lydekker 1891, Palaeocasuarius velox Rothschild 1907] CC10

*Pachyornis elephantopus (Owen 1856) CC10, BKB15, CC10 [=Dinornis elephantopus CC10, Euryapteryx elephantopus CC10; incl. D. elephantopus var. major Hutton 1875 CC10, Pachyornis immanis Lydekker 1891 CC10, Euryapteryx immanis CC10, Pachyornis inhabilis Hutton 1893 CC10, Dinornis elephantopus var. major Hutton 1875 CC10, Pachyornis (Pounamua) murihiku Oliver 1949 WH02, Euryapteryx ponderosus Hutton 1891 CC10, E. ponderosa CC10, Dinornis queenslandiae De Vis 1884 CC10, Dromiceius queenslandiae CC10, Pachyornis queenslandiae CC10, Pachyornis rothschildi Lydekker 1892 CC10, Pachyornis valgus Hutton 1893 CC10]

Pachyornis geranoides (Owen 1848) ML14, CC10 [=Palapteryx geranoides CC10, Anomalopteryx geranoides CC10, Cela geranoides CC10, Dinornis geranoides CC10, Euryapteryx geranoides CC10, Dinornis expunctus Archey 1927 CC10; incl. Pachyornis mappini Archey 1941 BKB15, CC10, Pac. (Mauiornis) mappini CC10, Pac. (*M.) septentrionalis Oliver 1949 CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BH05] Baker, A. J., L. J. Huynen, O. Haddrath, C. D. Millar & D. M. Lambert. 2005. Reconstructing the tempo and mode of evolution in an extinct clade of birds with ancient DNA: the giant moas of New Zealand. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102 (23): 8257–8262.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[ML14] Mitchell, K. J., B. Llamas, J. Soubrier, N. J. Rawlence, T. H. Worthy, J. Wood, M. S. Y. Lee & A. Cooper. 2014. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. Science 344 (6186): 898–900.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

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