Megavitiornis altirostris Worthy, 2000:351

Fiji giant megapode, Noble megapode, Deep-billed megapode



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status




Viti Levu, Fiji


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: MNZ S37362 ("right tarsometatarsus and 11 phalanges...of one foot")

Type locality: "Udit Tomo, Wainibuku, Viti Levu...[co-ordinates]"



Dozens of paratypes were assigned. See (Worthy, 2000:351-353) for a detailed list.


Referred material:

Much material, although surprisingly less than the paratypic, was referred to [i]Megavitiornis altirostris[/i]. See (Worthy, 2000:353) for a detailed list.






Original scientific description:

Worthy, Trevor H. (2000). The fossil megapodes (Aves: Megapodiidae) of Fiji with descriptions of a new genus and two new species. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 30(4): 337-364.


Other references:

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. 544 pp.

Irwin, G., Worthy, Trevor H., Best, S., Hawkins, S., Carpenter, J. and Matararaba, S. (2011). Further Investigations at the Naigani Lapita site (VL 21/5), Fiji: Excavation, Radiocarbon Dating and Palaeofaunal Extinction. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 2: 66-78.

Sayol, Ferran, Steinbauer, Manuel J., Blackburn, Tim M., Antonelli, Alexandre and Faurby, Søren. (2020). Anthropogenic extinctions conceal widespread evolution of flightlessness in birds. Science Advances 6(49): eabb6095. [Supplementary Material (Data File S1)]

Steadman, D.W. (1986) Pacific Science, 40, 17.

Tennyson, Alan J. D. and Bartle, J. A. (2008). Catalogue of type specimens of birds in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tuhinga 19: 185-207.

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Anderson, Atholl. (2009). Results of palaeofaunal research, pp. 41-62. In: Clark, Geoffrey Richard and Anderson, Atoll (eds.). The Early Prehistory of Fiji. Terra Australis 31. Canberra: ANU E Press. 437 pp.

Worthy, Trevor H., Anderson, Atholl J. and Molnar, Ralph E. (1999). Megafaunal expression in a land without mammals – the first fossil faunas from terrestrial deposits in Fiji (Vertebrata: Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 79(2): 237-242.


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