Breeding and ecology:
Moa were superlative birds, and the South Island giant moa was the biggest of them all. Adult females stood up to 2 metres high at the back, and could reach foliage up to 3.6 metres off the ground, making them the tallest bird species known. It was one of two species of giant moa, the other being the smaller North Island species, which are placed in a separate family from the two families containing the seven smaller moa species. All nine moa were unique among birds in having no trace of wing bones. They were the dominant New Zealand land vertebrates, exhibiting far greater adaptive radiation than other New Zealand landbirds. Regrettably, all were extinct within a few centuries of human arrival.