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Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)

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Brown Kiwi

Kiwis are so unlike other birds that they've been called "honorary mammals." Kiwis cannot fly, having evolved in New Zealand's island environment without mammalian predators. The only bird to have nostrils at the end of its beak, the kiwi snuffles and snorts as it probes the forest floor for... read more »

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Myth of the Kiwi

"Why the Kiwi Lost Its Wings" is a myth from the Maori people of New Zealand. Kiwi loved the forest so much that he forsook his wings and beautiful feathers to dwell on the ground and devour the enemies of the forest.The Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand, as depicted on a postage stamp.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Flightless Birds: Evolving the Inability to Fly

The ability to fly seems to define birds. But there are more than 50 species of flightless birds throughout the world — from the Ostrich and Kiwi to flightless rails, ducks, and this Humboldt Penguin. Why did they evolve the inability to fly? Many dwelt on islands. Others evolved until they were... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight

Elephant Birds Laid Really Big Eggs

What bird laid the largest eggs ever known? To date, the record holder is the now-extinct Elephant Bird, a relative of the present-day Ostrich and other large, flightless birds, including rheas, cassowaries, and kiwis. Up to the late 1600s, Elephant Birds lived on the island of Madagascar. But by... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history
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