Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Moa On Broad Street

SM Stirling, Against The Tide Of Years (New York, 1990), Chapter One, pp. 3-4.

An escaped moa runs down Broad Street, Nantucket. I thought that we would prefer an image of Broad Street. I would not want moas brought into captivity. The chicks in New Zealand were the size of turkeys. The adult:

has a chicken-like head bigger than a German shepherd's;
looks fixedly stupid as well as terrified when escaping;
is twelve feet tall;
weighs more than a cow;
has a six-foot neck, a bulbous body and enormous three-toed feet;
can snap a neck with a kick;
causes panic and chaos on the street;
is stopped by Marian with her katana, then bagged by its keepers.

No, thanks. Leave them in New Zealand.


David Birr said...

A double-sized cassowary. (The species are closely related.) Wikipedia notes, "The cassowary is one of the most dangerous animals in captivity, comparable to 'big cats'. Its powerful kicks can be fatal for humans." They can run at up to 50 kph through dense forest, so those are STRONG legs.

You refer to snapping a neck, but one of the claws on a cassowary's feet is compared to a dagger blade as much as 125 mm in length, so there's the danger of stabbing damage, too.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I disagree. If there were PLENTY of moas in what would have become our New Zealand when the Nantucketer explorers arrived, I see nothing wrong with exporting some to Nantucket and its colony on Long Island. There they could be bred and raised as food animals like chickens. I remember Jared Cofflin thinking the flavor of moa meat reminded him of veal.


Paul Shackley said...

Thanks and did you see David's comment?