Heavy-footed moa fossil skeleton, 1850s

Heavy-footed moa fossil skeleton, 1850s

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Caption: Heavy-footed moa fossil skeleton. Now classified as Pachyornis elephantopus, it was then known as Dinornis elephantopus. The giant moas (now extinct) were flightless birds that were endemic to New Zealand. The largest reached heights of over 3 metres. This early photograph was taken in the period 1854 to 1858 by British photographer Roger Fenton (1819-1869). He took the photograph as part of work for the British Museum to document its collections. using the new medium of photography. Fenton used new methods to arrange and light his subjects. Here, he has hung white sheets against an interior brick wall, with the light probably coming from a skylight window. The resulting image was produced as a salted paper print.

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