This towering, 12-foot-tall flightless bird was native to New Zealand. The moa ate plants, and like other bird species, it swallowed smooth stones to help grind up course plant matter during digestion. So-called “gizzard stones” up to 4 inches long have been found inside moa remains. The bird was hunted to extinction in the 15th century.
Alongside the moa, the Haast’s Eagle was part of a two-for-one extinction event. Once the moas were all killed off, the huge Haast’s Eagle was next, since the Moa had been the eagle’s primary food source. Before its demise, the Haast’s Eagle was thought to have attacked its huge prey with razor-sharp talons in a 50 mph strike.