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Volume 28, 1895
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Art. LXVI.—On the Moa-bones from Enfield.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 7th August, 1895.]

The mode of occurrence of the bones found in August, 1891, at Enfield, near Oamaru, has already been described by Dr. H. O. Forbes in Nature for March, 1892. They were imbedded in peat in a small swampy gully which runs across field to join a stream which falls into the Waireka River. In the winter of 1891 Mr. Meek, the owner, determined to bring this swampy gully into cultivation, and the bones were found when ploughing it.

In addition to the moas, bones of several carinate birds were found, mention of which is made by Dr. Forbes in the paper already referred to, and also in the Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxiv., p. 188, &c. These remains were taken to England lay Dr. Forbes, and I am not aware of any description having been published of them.

In June, 1892, I made a preliminary examination of the moa-bones remaining in the Museum, as I had, at once, to make up some exchanges promised by my predecessor, and I read a paper to the Institute giving the results of that examination, at the same time saying that it was far from completed.* Since then I have had time to measure and compare all the bones in the collection, and I wish to place on record the results of my measurements, so that they can be compared with those of the bones at Kapua. It will be seen that there are many points of difference between the bones of the two localities; and this might have been expected. If the different species of moas have been gradually developed, their sizes must have differed at different periods; and, as there are geological reasons for thinking that the Enfield bones are of a later date than those from Kapua, it follows that the differences probably show the directions in which the species developed during the interval.

After rejecting bones of young birds and others which were too imperfect for measurement, I had 1,031 leg-bones left, made up as follows :—

[Footnote] * “New Species of Moas”: Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxv., p. 6.

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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Metatarsi. Tibiæ. Femora. Skulls. Sterna. Pelves.
Dinornis 34 17 23 5 4 6
Meionornis 193 200 200 52 34 21
Euryapteryx 94 43 106 8 5 6
Pachyornis 47 36 38 9 2 2
Totals 368 296 367 74 45 35

The chief characteristic of the collection is the great number of bones of Meionornis didinus, one-third of the whole belonging to that species.

Dinornis maximus.

Metatarsi, 11; tibiæ, 7; femora, 5; may be referred to this species. The largest metatarsus was 19.5in. in length, with a width of 2.5in. at the middle of the shaft; but there was no tibia nor femur to match it. Indeed, the femora appear to be smaller than those from Kapua, but the number is top few to base any well-founded opinion on.

Dinornis robustus.

Metatarsi, 4; tibiæ, 3; femora, 3. These bones are too few to base any conclusions on; but it does not appear to have been clearly marked off from the last species.

Dinornis torosus.

Metatarsi, 19; tibiæ, 7; femora, 15. This species is very distinct from the last—more so even than at Kapua. The number of bones is not large; but they show a concentration round a single focus with each bone, and no separation into two sizes which might belong to the two sexes. This is a satisfactory corroboration of the result arrived at by an examination of the Kapua bones, and ought to set the question of the different sizes of the sexes in Dinornis at rest for ever.

Meionornis casuarinus.

Metatarsi, 74; tibiæ, 64; femora, 78. The same difficulty exists as at Kapua in separating the leg-bones of this species from those of E. crassa. The metatarsus is the same size as at Kapua, but the tibia and femur are rather larger. The numbers are, I think, quite sufficient to establish this point satisfactorily.

Meionornis didinus.

Metatarsi, 119; tibiæ, 136; femora, 122. The tibia is very well separated, and the other two bones, although showing

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connecting-links with M. casuarinus, have well-marked concentration foci of their own, showing clearly that it is distinct from that species. Compared with the same species from Kapua, the metatarsus and the femur are the same, but the tibia is distinctly larger. There can be no hesitation in accepting this result, as the data are ample.

In my former paper, already referred to, I placed a few bones doubtfully under the name of P. pygmæus. These, however, do not belong to Pachyornis, but lie on the borderland between M. didinus and E. gravis. On the whole, I have concluded that they are a variety of the former, and I have included them here. They consist of—metatarsi, 5; tibiæ, 4; femora, 4. Possibly they are hybrids between the two species.

Euryapteryx crassa.

Metatarsi, 58; tibiæ, 17; femora, 68. This species was, comparatively, less numerous than at Kapua. The tibia is larger, but the metatarsus and femur are the same.

Euryapteryx ponderosa.

Metatarsi, 16; tibiæ, 14; femora, 28. These numbers are too small to give any results of value, but the bird appears to have been rather smaller and more slender than at Kapua.

Euryapteryx gravis.

Metatarsi, 20; tibiæ, 12; femora, 10. So far as these numbers allow us to form an opinion, it would seem that the tibia is considerably larger, while the femur is slightly smaller.

Pachyornis immanis.

Metatarsi, 7; tibiæ, 4; femora, 7. The numbers are small. The tibiæ are all of large size, and none of them shows the curvature of the shaft which is so remarkable in the bones from Kapua and Hamilton. Two of the femora are larger than any found at Kapua. The average is larger because no small bones were found.

Pachyornis elephantopus.

Metatarsi, 21; tibiæ, 17; femora, 15. There is in this species a most remarkable development in length without the great thickness characteristic of P. immanis. The metatarsi reach a length of 267mm.; the tibiæ, 622mm.; and the femora, 368mm., which are considerably greater than the largest from Kapua. The average, however, is smaller.

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Pachyornis inhabilis.

Metatarsi, 19; tibiæ, 15; femora, 16. This species is far better represented than at Kapua—its numbers being nearly equal to those of P. elephantopus—and it appears to be distinctly smaller. However, it must be remembered that the bones found at Kapua were too few in number to afford a reliable comparison. The following are the measurements of the smallest specimen :—

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Length. Proximal Width. Middle Width. Distal Width.
Metatarsus 185 81 48 106
Tibia 431 137 38 66
Femur 270 99 40 117

All the bones, especially the metatarsus, are well marked off from those of P. elephantopus.

Leg-Bones from Enfield.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Average Measurements, in Millimetres.
Metatarsus. Tibia. Femur.
Length. Proximal Width. Middle Width. Distal Width. Length. Proximal Width. Middle Width. Distal Width Length. Proximal Width. Middle Width. Distal Width.
Dinornis maximus 457 122 55 165 800 165 63 119 394 152 60 165
" robustus 419 119 53 147 736 152 58 106 345 140 58 152
" torosus 305 91 40 119 610 147 43 84 305 107 48 122
Meionornis casuarinus 215 81 46 96 490 134 44 71 286 106 43 120
" didinus 190 68 38 86 400 109 37 58 240 86 35 95
Euryapteryx ponderosa 222 94 55 109 508 157 53 79 292 119 50 134
" crassa 216 84 49 106 482 142 48 71 285 110 47 127
" gravis 190 76 46 96 444 134 44 70 247 102 44 104
Pachyornis immanis 241 110 66 138 584 180 60 94 320 134 60 160
" elepbantopus 228 94 58 122 533 148 50 76 305 127 58 147
" inhabilis 203 86 52 112 480 140 44 76 280 104 50 124
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Leg-Bones from Enfield.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Dinornis.
Mid-width of Shaft in Inches.
Length. 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.4
33 2a
32
31 3a 2a
30
29 1b 1b
28 1b
Tibia. 27
26
25 1c
24 1c 4c
23 1c
16 1a 1a
15 2a 1a
14 1b 1b
13 1b 2c
12 2c 4c 5c Femur.
11 1c 1c
19 1a 1a
18 2a 1a
17 2a 3a 1a
16 1b 1b
15 2b
14
13 1c 2c Metatarsus.
12 2c 8c 4c
11 1c 1c
a.

Dinornis maximus.

b.

" robustus.

c.

" torosus.

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Leg-Bones from Enfield.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Pachyorns.
Mid-width of Shaft in Inches.
Length 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5
24.5 1b
24.0 1a 1a
23.5
23.0 1a
22.5 1b
22.0 1a 3b
21.5 Tibia.
21.0 1b 1b
20.5 1c
20.0 2b 1b
19.5 1b 1b
19.0 1b 1b 1c 3c
18.5 1b 1b 2c 1c
18.0 1b 2c 1c 1c
17.5
17.0 3c
14.5 1b
14.0 1a Femui.
13.5 1a
13.0 2b
12.5 3a 2b
12.5 2a 3b 1c
11.5 1b 2b 2b 3c
11.0 1b 1b 7c 1c
10.5 1c 1c 1c 1c
10.5 1b Metatarsus.
10.0 1a
9.5 1a 1a 1a 1b 1b
9.0 2a 4b 3b
8.5 1a. 2b 4b 3b 3c
8.0 1b 5c 8c 1c
7.5 1c 1c

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Eurypateryx and Meionornis.
Mid-width of Shaft in Inches
Length 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2
22.0 1e
21.5
21.0 1e
20.5 4e 1f 1h
20.0 1e 1e 2e 2f 7th 6h
19.5 1e 2e 1e 5f 11h 7h 3h
19.0 8f 11h 6h 1h Tibia.
18.5 1f 1h 4h 2h
18.0 5g 3h 1h
17.5 1g 1g 2g
17.0 3g 1i 3i
16.5 4i 11i 7i
16.0 1i 24i 14i
15.5 2i 12i 20i 4i
15.0 1i 6i 15i 6i
14.5 2i 2i
14.0 1i
12.5 2e. Femui.
12.0 1e 2e 1f 8f 2h 1h
11.5 4e 3e 7e 8f 20f 22h 5h 1h
11.0 333 1e 6e 7f 17f 18h 6h 1h
10.5 2e 3f 34f 8h 6h
10.0 5g 2h 6h 7i 11i
9.5 5g 7i 28i 35i 6i 1i
9.0 4i 17i 6i
9.5 2e 1f 2f Metataisus.
9.0 6e 3e 5f 13f 14h 5h 2h
8.5 2e 10f 19f 22h 12h 2h
8.0 1e 2e 1f 7f 14h 1h 2h 4i
7.5 2g 12g 5i 8i 40i 19i 1i
7.0 2g 4g 5i 14i 18i 1i
6.5 3i 1i
a.

Pachyornis immanis.

b.

" elephantopus.

c.

Pachyornis inhabilis.

e.

Euryapteryx ponderosa.

f.

Euryapteryx crassa.

g.

" gravis.

h.

Meionornis casuarinus.

i.

" didinus.