Hakawai (genus)

Hakawai is an extinct genus of prehistoric birds that lived during the early Miocene to middle Miocene in New Zealand. According to a 2015 paper, Hakawai melvillei was a representative of a large group of birds that comprises the seedsnipes of family Thinocoridae) and the plains-wanderer (family Pedionomidae). This discovery sheds light on evolutionary processes at work when South America, Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand were all parts of Gondwanaland.[1]

For the Māori mythological bird heard but not usually seen, now associated with the nocturnal aerial displays made by Coenocorypha snipe, see Hakawai (mythology)

Temporal range: early Miocene to middle Miocene 19-16 Mya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Genus: Hakawai
De Pietri et al. 2015
H. melvillei
Binomial name
Hakawai melvillei
De Pietri et al. 2015


  1. De Pietri, Vanesa L.; Scofield, R. Paul; Tennyson, Alan J. D.; Hand, Suzanne J.; Worthy, Trevor H. (2015). "Wading a lost southern connection: Miocene fossils from New Zealand reveal a new lineage of shorebirds (Charadriiformes) linking Gondwanan avifaunas". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 14 (7): 603. doi:10.1080/14772019.2015.1087064. hdl:2328/35949.
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