The ostrich is the biggest species of bird. Male ostriches range from about 6.9 to 9 feet, females 5.7 to 6.2 feet. Males can weigh 220 to 287 pounds while females usually weigh 198 to 242 pounds.
In recent history, birds got even bigger. The Moa, which lived in New Zealand until the late 17th century, was a close relative of the ostrich. But it could grow much larger -up to ten feet tall!
The Moa is interesting in that it’s the only bird we know of that had no wings whatsoever. It was vital to the Maori people in New Zealand, who used it for food, clothing, and tools. However, they hunted it faster than it could reproduce, leading to its extinction.
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