Mantell's moa, ankle bone

Description

A 13.3 cm tall tarsometatarsus or ankle bone from Mantell's moa (Pachyornis geranoides). This bone is part of the University of Auckland Geological Collections (Specimen AU 4028.173).

 

Note that in the collections, the bone is labelled Pachyornis mappini. As our knowledge of moa species has continued to improve, we have discovered that some moa species had a much greater size diversity than previously thought. In particular, we now know that males and females of many moa species were dramatically different sizes. Pachyornis mappini is now recognised as belonging to the same species as Pachyornis geranoides (Worthy TH. 2005.Tuhinga 16:57-67).

 

Teaching connection

Students enrolled in 199.330 Ornithology learn to recognise different bird bones. 199.330 Ornithology teaches students about the evolution, taxonomy, morphology and behaviour of birds. In addition to bird bone studies, the practical work in this paper includes   analyses of plumage colouration and vocalisations.

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