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Skeleton of South Island Adzebill (Aptornis defossor)

Auckland War Memorial Museum, 2012

Skeleton of South Island Adzebill (Aptornis defossor)
Chlidonias, 6 Apr 2020
UngulateNerd92 and qthemusic like this.
    • Chlidonias
      The bones of this piece were collected from the Pyramid Valley site in north Canterbury. It is probably a composite skeleton (i.e. created from remains of different birds), but the museum's online catalogue doesn't specify. It is mounted in a very upright pose, as was also common with moa skeletons, but I feel that in life it would have been more like the pose of the one displayed at the Canterbury Museum (pictured below).

      Skeleton of a South Island Adzebill (Aptornis defossor) - ZooChat

      The Auckland Museum also has an articulated skeleton of the North Island Adzebill (Aptornis otidiformis) but I don't have a photo of that one.

      Adzebills became extinct after the arrival of humans to New Zealand c.1000 years ago. They stood around a metre tall with an estimated weight between 15-20kg, and had a very large bill which was presumably used for digging. Chemical analysis of their bones show that they were predators. Their bones were originally thought to be from small moa when first discovered, and since then have been associated with a few different birds including Kagu. The most recent genetic studies show them to be rails, and that their closest living relatives are the tiny flufftails of Africa.
      Mitochondrial Genomes from New Zealand’s Extinct Adzebills (Aves: Aptornithidae: Aptornis) Support a Sister-Taxon Relationship with the Afro-Madagascan Sarothruridae
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    Auckland War Memorial Museum
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    6 Apr 2020
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    EXIF Data

    File Size:
    1.1 MB
    Mime Type:
    Canon PowerShot A470
    Date / Time:
    2012:09:12 11:39:42
    Exposure Time:
    1/60 sec
    ISO Speed Rating:
    ISO 200
    Focal Length:
    9.841 mm

    Note: EXIF data is stored on valid file types when a photo is uploaded. The photo may have been manipulated since upload (rotated, flipped, cropped etc).