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Volume 14, 1881
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“On the Extinction of the Moa,” by H. C. Field, of Wanganui.

This was an account of the finding of moa bones in the sand-hills at Wanganui, and an exhibition of some of these bones, showing sharp clean cuts in them, which the author thought must have been made with a steel weapon while the bones were fresh, and therefore that the bird had lived since the arrival of the Europeans.

Dr. Hector, although agreeing with the author as to the survival of moas to a comparatively late date, thought that such bones might have been originally in swampy ground and soft, in which state they are easily cut with any tool like a spade or mattock, and afterwards harden on exposure and bleaching in sand.


“On an Abnormal Growth of New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax),” by the Rev. Philip Walsh. (Transactions, p. 374).


“On a Deposit of Moa Bones, near Motanau, North Canterbury,” by A. McKay, of the Geological Department. (Transactions, p. 410).

Specimens were placed on the table, and Dr. Hector explained the locality, and stated that this was probably the oldest moa deposit yet found. A skull and other bones of the extinct gigantic eagle, Harpagornis, first discovered by Dr. Haast, were also found in this locality, this being the first skull secured of this interesting bird. The deposit is of early Pleistocene age, and the moa bones belonged exclusively to the species Dinornis elephantopus, D. casuarinus and D. didiformis. There are also some bones of a large Ralline bird not yet determined.


“Descriptions of New Shells,” by T. W. Kirk, Assistant in the Colonial Museum. (Transactions, p. 282).


“On some Plants new to New Zealand, and Description of a new Species,” by John Buchanan, F.L.S. (Transactions, pp. 342 and 356).

These were mostly obtained during a recent exploration of the Tararua ranges.

Dr. Hector stated that during the recent expedition to the Tararua Mountains, Mr. Buchanan, in company with Mr. H. Logan and party, had procured about 1500 live plants, which had been divided between the various domains in the colony, a portion also being sent to Kew. Many of them will be most beautiful additions to gardens.