noun \ˈmō-ə\

Definition of MOA

:  any of various usually very large extinct flightless birds of New Zealand of a ratite order (Dinornithiformes) including one (Dinornis giganteus of the family Dinornithidae) nearly 12 feet (3.7 meters) in height

Origin of MOA

First Known Use: 1839

Rhymes with MOA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of 13–25 species of extinct ratite of New Zealand constituting the order Dinornithiformes. Species ranged from turkey-sized to 10 ft (3 m) high. Moas were swift runners that defended themselves by kicking. They were hunted for their flesh (eaten as food), bones (used as weapons and ornaments), and eggs (used for water vessels). The larger moas were probably extinct by the late 17th century; a few smaller species may have survived into the 19th century. Moas browsed and grazed on seeds, fruits, leaves, and grasses. They laid a single large egg in a hollow in the ground.


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