added by archaeologs Any of several extinct, ostrichlike flightless birds native to New Zealand and constituting the order Dinornithiformes. Moas (a Polynesian term) ranged in size from a turkey to an ostrich. Moa-hunting was once an economic mainstay of the Archaic Maoris, even though large concentrations only occurred in certain regions, especially east coastal South Island. Early Polynesian peoples hunted moas for food; they made spear points, hooks, and ornaments from their bones, and water carriers from their eggs. Although the larger moas probably had become extinct by the end of the 17th century, a few smaller species may have survived into the 19th.