... until we humans arrived:
Take a photo of yourself discovering a giant moa: the biggest bird that ever lived! Make a bone, a footprint, or a whole bird, then break the internet with proof that these extremely extinct giants are still around and have just been hiding in your backyard!
What to do
Your mission is:
1. BONE UP ON CLUES
Imagine that you’re a detective and while exploring your backyard you find a huge bone. What could it be? Dinosaur? Great-grandpa? Or … giant moa!
2. WHAT POO-ROOF DO YOU HAVE?
Think about what evidence you’d need to prove to the world that you’ve rediscovered the moa. A footprint? A photograph with a live moa? A moa poo (aka coprolite)?
What did a moa eat and would its poo still somehow have corn in it?
3. FAKE THE FIND
Fabricate the evidence! (Fabricate can mean either build or fake – in this case it’s both!!) Use cardboard, papier-mâché, fur, mud, other animal bones, an old brown sock and some goggly eyes … whatever it takes to make your fake!
4. SET UP THE SCENE
Find a place to take a photo of your moa discovery. Think like a moa, eat like a moa, move like a moa, mow the lawns like a moa (oh sorry, wrong sort of moa!) ... a hand puppet could do the trick in the right light/background (e.g. your garden flax bush!).
Tip: you could use a smartphone or tablet filter to fake an old black and white photo (that you just happened to find in your granddad's shed!).
5. POST FOR SCIENCE AND GLORY
Grab some well-placed photos, upload them to Wild Eyes and trick the world into believing your remarkable scientific discovery.
Wear a helmet to protect yourself from the shower of riches surely coming your way!
Take it to the next level and fake a T-rex discovery. You could be the next Joan Wiffen. Kiwi Joan was a dinosaur hunter who discovered what dinosaurs lived in NZ by digging up their buried bones (fossils). She found a relative of the tyrannosaurus in the Urewera.
Could you get the hunt for T-rex to come to your backyard?
MOA MAKING TIP
There were over 10 species of moa and some were as small as chickens – so you could maybe use leftover bones from the roast to fake a fossil discovery. Pro perspective tip: if you hold a chicken bone closer to the camera and stand back it'll make it look bigger. You could make your discovery in your DIY Cave to double your points.
Note: these guys are holding an actual giant moa leg bone not a humungous chicken (you'd need a moa-sized oven to roast that chook!)