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Extinct Animals  10
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Giant Moa

Giant flightless land birds as tall as 13' called "Moas" (Dinornithidae "terrible birds" giganteus) by the Maori, who lived on the savannahs and forest fringes of New Zealand and surrounding islands.

Several skeletons are on display in museums in New Zealand and Europe. Moa bones lack a humeri, upper arm-bones, the last trace of wings. There were several families and species of moa, some giants, some the size of chickens. Some of the moas had four toes to the foot, and others three. The pale green Moa eggs measured 10 inches (24 cm) long and 7 inches (18 cm) wide.

Except for the Haast's Eagle, another extinct giant, the Moa had no predators and became the dominant species in extraordinary numbers and variety (twenty species, six genera) during its 100 million year existence in the isolated islands. While some accounts say that Moas were extinct before Europeans discovered the islands in 1770, or shortly after, others tell of later isolated sightings.




Elephant Birds

Elephant birds lived on Madagascar until their extinction in the 17th century. Sightings in Madagascar were recorded as late at the 1640s and 1650s. Aepyornis was the largest bird in the world at that time standing 10 feet tall and weighing almost 900 lbs. Remains of eggs have been found that measure more than a foot long and 3 feet in circumference.

Marco Polo may have encountered Elephant Birds in the 12th Century. Descriptions recorded in his travels are believed to describe elephant birds.






Diatrymas were another large bird which you would not have been able to outrun, however, it is uncertain whether they were herbivores or carnivores. With that beak you would run regardless. It may have been used to crack nuts or to rip flesh. They grew to 6 feet tall and weighed more than 200 lbs. They lived about 60 million years ago in North America and Europe






Extanichthyornis victor

Extanichthyornis victor was a 9" to 10" long seabird and was the first prehistoric bird discovered with teeth. It lived around 90 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous and its fossil remains have been discovered in numerous places in the great plains of North America.




Diving Marine Bird, Hesperornis regalis

Diving Marine Bird, Hesperornis regalis

This is another illustrated version of the Great Toothed Diver, Hesperornis regalis, an extinct five foot long diving bird that lived during the Cretaceous period - with teeth! Hesperornis regalis did not have wings, but propelled itself with powrful hind legs and lobed toes similar to the grebes of today. Hesperornis regalis lived in the prehistoric North Sea, the West Siberian Sea, and the Great American Inland Sea, preyed upon fish, crustaceans, cephalopods and mollusks and were preyed upon by Mosasaurs.







Archaeopteryx was discovered in the 1800s around the Solnhofen area of Germany in limestone which was deposited at the bottom of lagoons during the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago.










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