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MORE ON MORE ON MOAS..
> PS: What is the best source for reproductions of these cave paintings? And
> which moa was crested?
> Ronald I. Orenstein
1) Maori cave paintings of moas can be seen at Craigmore, South Island.
They are illustrated as plate 10 (or 11) in W. Swinton's 'Fossil Birds',
republished numerous times since the late 50s by the BMNH. I did have a
copy for sale, but a certain lurker on this list has swiped my copy and
has yet to pay for it.. you know who you are...
2) _Pachyornis australis_ has little pits on the skull roof that some
authors have interpreted as attachment sites for crest plumes. Gill
and Martinson, who have applied common names to all extinct New Zealand
birds, call this species the Crested moa. Other moas, apparently, had
the same features - I know they're not in _Dinornis_ but obviously this
feature is compatible with details of the maori legends posted
There are (ASAIK) 3 _Pachyornis_ sp: the others are the 'Heavy footed'
(_P. elephantopus_) and Mappin's (_P. mappini_).
Jim Farlow has been asking about the evidence showing that _Harpagornis_
really did eat moas. Seems the only evidence is association of their
bones in mire deposits. The eagles *may* therefore have been scavenging,
and got stuck up and killed in the swampy muck themselves. The
alternative suggestion is that they actively destroyed the live moas
trapped in the swamps. Make your choice!
Note that _Harpagornis_ is typically restored in *exactly* the same
plumage as it was in the very first published restoration (cf. countless
_Phorusrhacos_ illustration published since Zdenek Burian's). Likewise
for _Aquila borrasi_ (sp?), another extinct giant eagle, this time from
Cuba. A pub here in Southampton, called 'The Eagle', has a sign with a
picture copied from a restoration of _A. borrasi_ first printed on a Cuban
I understand that _Dinornis maximus_ must now be called _D. giganteus_,
and apparently this would hold for other species called _maximus_ too.
Confusing? This caused a lot of problems when I had to keep mentioning
the ammonite _Titanites maximus_ in my Dorset coursework. Does anyone
know any more about this.. apparently Phil Currie does.
Anyone see the robot pterosaurs on monday's Blue Peter?
"But sir, the Hoth system is supposed to be devoid of human forms"