Chelychelynechen quassus Olson & James

Turtle-jawed Moa-nalo (Chelychelynechen quassus)

The Turtle-jawed Moa-nalo was described in 1991; it is known only based on subfossil remains that were recovered in 1976 from the Makawehi dunes on the south-eastern coast of the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

In life this species must have looked like a very big and thick goose with tiny wings and with a shortened beak which was as high as it was long; nevertheless it was most closely related to the duck genus Anas.

The species fed on several plants, and even today many of these former food plants exist and show typical adaptions of heavily-browsed plant species like rough, hirsute leaves are thorny stems and leaves.



[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part I. Non-Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991


edited: 08.08.2022