Ratites

Ratite material in the Museum’s fossil bird collection includes:

  • a very large collection of moas from New Zealand including:
    • several type specimens
    • the original fragment of long bone that allowed Richard Owen to deduce the existence of these large extinct flightless birds. The bone was discovered between 1831 and 1836 on the east coast of North Island, New Zealand and was brought to Owen in 1839.
  • skeletal remains and 12 unbroken eggs of the elephant bird, Aepyornis, from Madagascar. 

Owen's statue at the Museum shows him holding the moa bone fragment, and one of the elephant bird eggs is on display in the Bird Gallery.

Using palaeontology collections