New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1980) 3: 125- 130

Some empirical information concerning the diet of moas

Research Article
C. J. Burrows  
  1. Botany Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

The paper summarizes information on the identity of plant fragments from 14 moa gizzard contents samples and outlines some features of moa diet, feeding habits and habitat which may be inferred from the investigation of these samples. Most of the moa specimens (possibly all of them) were from the genus Dinornis. Twigs of shrubs and trees, which were sheared off, formed the predominant part of the diet of the birds just before their death, but seeds, fruits. and leaves were also present. These moas were browsing animals and probably also penetrated the forest.