Art. XLVI.—On a second discovery of Moa-bones at Hamilton.†
[Read before the Otago Institute, October 24th, 1876.]
Moa-Bone Pit, No. 2—on the Cornishman's Claim, Hamilton—was discovered in August, 1875. It was situated about thirty yards from the first pit, and laid six feet deeper. It was sixty feet long by an average width of twelve feet.
The bed of clay in which the basin of the first pit was formed, over-laid
[Footnote] † In continuation of the description of the Moa Swamp, Hamilton, published in the “Trans. N. Z. Inst.,” Vol. VIII., p. 12.
pit No. 2 with a thickness of six feet. The deposit of bones was from one to two feet in thickness. All the more porous bones of Dinornis, such as the pelves, sterna, ribs, and vertebræ, were, with the exception of a few vertebræ, in an advanced state of decay. I should judge that there were double the amount of bones in this pit that there were in the first. The bones Of Cnemiornis appeared to have resisted decay better than those of Dinornis. I do not think that it would be far from the mark to say that fully one-third of the birds in this pit were Cnemiornis, one-third adult Dinornis, chiefly of the smaller species, and one-third young Moas. I only saw one long metatarsus, and that belonged to a young bird.
The bones were deposited in peat and silt, the same as in the first pit. Both pits are now washed away by the diggers, and during the progress of washing I kept an eye to the affair. I traced the gutter from which the spring water rose in the first pit, to pit No. 2, and the same red shingly gutter continues on up the first pit was a spring; and further, that pit No. 2 had at some far remoter period been also a spring fed from the same source. A like discovery may never be made again.