Anomalopteryx didiformis Owen, 1844

Little bush moa, Little scrub moa



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Dinornis parvus Owen, 1883; Anomalopteryx oweni Oliver, 1949


Conservation Status

Last record: Holocene



New Zealand


Biology & Ecology










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Anonymous. (2008). Australian pursues moa in Urewera Ranges. The New Zealand Herald, 9 January (Wednesday), available online:

Atkinson, I. A. E. and Greenwood, R. M. (1989). Relationships between moas and plants. NZ J. Ecol. 12: 67-96.

Attard, M. R. G., Wilson, L. A. B., Worthy, T. H., Scofield, P., Johnston, P., Parr, W. C. H. and Wroe, S. (2016). Moa diet fits the bill: virtual reconstruction incorporating mummified remains and prediction of biomechanical performance in avian giants. Proc. R. Soc. B 283: 20152043.

Baker, Allan J. et al. (2005). Reconstructing the tempo and mode of evolution in an extinct clade of birds with ancient DNA: The giant moas of New Zealand. PNAS 102(23): 8257-8262.

Barrington, Mike. (2008). Maybe the moa survived. The Northern Advocate, 12 June (Thursday), available online:

Boev, Zlatozar. (2018). A specimen of little bush moa Anomalopteryx didiformis (Owen, 1844), Emeidae Bonaparte, 1854 from the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia. Historia naturalis bulgarica 32: 3-5.

Cloutier, Alison, Sackton, Timothy B., Grayson, Phil, Edwards, Scott V. and Baker, Allan J. (2018). First nuclear genome assembly of an extinct moa species, the little bush moa (Anomalopteryx didiformis). bioRxiv preprint.

Forrest, R. M. (1987). A partially mummified skeleton of Anomalopteryx didiformis from Southland. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 17: 399-408.

Göhlich, Ursula B. (2017). Catalogue of the fossil bird holdings of the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology in Munich. Zitteliana 89: 331-349.

Hartree, W. H., Worthy, Trevor H. and Holdaway, Richard N. (1999). A preliminary report on the nesting habits of moas on the East Coast of the North Island. Notornis 46(4): 457-460.

Holdaway, Richard N., Worthy, Trevor H. and Tennyson, Alan J. D. (2001). A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

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Laing, Doug. (2008a). Birdman says moa surviving in the Bay. Hawke's Bay Today, 5 January (Saturday), available online:

Laing, Doug. (2008b). First it was moa, now it's emus. Hawke's Bay Today, 8 January (Tuesday), available online:

McCallum, J., Hall, S., Lissone, I., Anderson, J., Huynen, L. and Lambert, D. M. (2013). Highly Informative Ancient DNA ‘Snippets’ for New Zealand Moa. PLoS ONE 8(1): e50732.

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Oskam, Charlotte L. et al. (2010). Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA. Proc. R. Soc. B DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2019

Oskam, Charlotte L. et al. (2012). Ancient DNA analyses of early archaeological sites in New Zealand reveal extreme exploitation of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) at all life stages. Quaternary Science Reviews 52: 41-48. [Abstract]

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Wood, Jamie R., Vermeulen, Melanie J. et al. (2021). Mid-Holocene coprolites from southern New Zealand provide new insights into the diet and ecology of the extinct little bush moa (Anomalopteryx didiformis). Quaternary Science Reviews 263: 106992. [Abstract]

Wood, Jamie R., Wilmshurst, J. M., Rawlence, N. J., Bonner, K. I., Worthy, Trevor H. et al. (2013). A Megafauna’s Microfauna: Gastrointestinal Parasites of New Zealand’s Extinct Moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes). PLoS ONE 8(2): e57315.

Wood, J. R., Wilmshurst, J. M., Worthy, T. H. and Cooper, A. (2012). First coprolite evidence for the diet of Anomalopteryx didiformis, an extinct forest ratite from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36(2): 164-170.

Wood, J. R., Janet M. Wilmshurst, Sarah J. Richardson, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Steven J. Wagstaff, Trevor H. Worthy and Alan Cooper. (2013). Resolving lost herbivore community structure usingcoprolites of four sympatric moa species (Aves: Dinornithiformes). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(42): 16910-16915.

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Worthy, Trevor H. (1994). Late Quaternary changes in the moa fauna (Aves; Dinornithiformes) on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 27(2): 125-134.

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Worthy TH, Holdaway RH. (2002). Prehistoric life of New Zealand. The lost world of the Moa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.


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