Trevor H. Worthy

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Trevor Henry Worthy
Born 3 January 1957
New zealand
Other names Mr. Moa
Citizenship Australia
Nationality New Zealand
Fields paleozoologist
Education University of Adelaide
Known for Work on the moa
Notable awards D. L. Serventy Medal

Trevor Henry Worthy (born 3 January 1957) is a paleozoologist from New Zealand known for his research work on the moa.

In the late 1980s Worthy discovered the fossil remains of three frog species from the Leiopelmatidae family, the Aurora frog (Leiopelma auroraensis), the Markham's frog (Leiopelma markhami), and the Waitomo frog (Leiopelma waitomoensis). In the 1990s Worthy discovered several fossil bird species new to science, including the long-billed wren (Dendroscansor decurvirostris) in 1991, the Scarlett's shearwater (Puffinus spelaeus) in 1991, and the Niue night heron (Nycticorax kalavikai) in 1995. In 1991 he also described the Northland skink, a fossil skink species new to science.[1] By 1998 he spend on Fiji, where he found subfossil material of the flightless Viti Levu giant pigeon (Natunaornis gigoura), the Viti Levu scrubfowl (Megapodius amissus), the Viti Levu snipe (Coenocorypha miratropica), the giant Fiji ground frog (Platymantis megabotoniviti), and the small freshwater crocodile Volia (Volia athollandersoni). The holotypes of these species are on display in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Further discoveries in which Worthy was involved are the oldest moa bones ever found, the oldest tuatara bones and a fossil land mammal from New Zealand.[2]

Worthy, who worked under the contract of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology in Masterton, Nelson, and for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa since 1991, had to stop his research work for the museum in 2005 after the funding was cut by the foundation. Since 2005 he has been working at the University of NSW and the University of Adelaide, where he received his Ph.D in 2008.[3] In May 2011 he was awarded a Doctor of Science from the University of Waikato.[4]

Worthy is co-author of several articles about prehistoric life in New Zealand. For the book The Lost World of the Moa (2002) he and Richard Holdaway received the D. L. Serventy Medal from the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union in 2003 for an outstanding published work about Australasian avifauna.


  1. ^ Tennyson, Alan J.D. (4 November 2009). "The origin and history of New Zealand’s terrestrial vertebrates" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Ecology (Special Issue: Feathers to Fur): 9. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  2. ^ *Fossils reveal New Zealand's indigenous 'mouse'
  3. ^ Beston, Anne (9 May 2005). "Mr Moa's cash extinct". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  4. ^ *Mr Moa now Doctor of Science - University of Waikato

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