The most extraordinary feature is unquestionably the former existence of the gigantic Dinornithes or moas and, another family of Ratitae, the weird-looking kiwis or Apteryges, which are totally unlike any other existing birds.
At any rate we begin to see that some of the Ratitae, namely the Rheidae, may possibly be an early and then much modified offshoot of such of the Carinatae as are now represented by the Crypturi, whilst in another part of the world, and at a much later time, kiwis and moas have sprung from a somewhat more Gallilorm stock, which points to a descent from a still undivided GalliformTinamiform mass.
Further, it is the opinion of competent ornithologists that there is affinity of the Australian emeus and cassowaries with the New Zealand moas and with the Malagasy Aepyornis.
In the North Island the moas seem to have died out soon after the arrival of the Maoris, according to F.
The most striking feature of the moas, besides the truly gigantic size of some species, is the almost complete absence of the wings.