Kiwi bird a bird that can not fly
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Kiwi bird a bird that can not fly

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This small bird is a flightless nocturnal bird and even though it is a bird, it cannot fly. The kiwi has a long beak and no tail. Instead of feathers, the kiwi has brown colored hair. They are shy birds, they don’t like to get close to humans and they rather stay hidden in the bushes. They  like lush vegetation areas because they feel safe from predators and from curious eyes. Kiwi birds have been designated as New Zealand "honorary mammals".


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Species: The kiwi bird belong to the ratites group. They are also related to emus and the famous cassowary bird.
This group includes the ostrich of Africa, the emu of Australia and the now-extinct moa of New Zealand.
The moa bird as kiwi are a group of flightless birds with no vestiges of wing bones, but the most recent theory suggests that the moa arrived on New Zealand about 60 Mya and split from the basal moa species, Megalapteryx about 5.8 Mya.


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A 19 to 16-million-year-old fossil of a kiwi-like bird unearthed at St Bathans, New Zealand, suggests that the kiwi is not a dwarf version of a distant ancestor, but more likely evolved from a tiny prehistoric bird that could have flown to New Zealand from Australia.

There are five species of kiwi:
•    brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)
•    rowi (Apteryx rowi)
•    tokoeka (Apteryx australis)
•    great spotted kiwi or roroa (Apteryx haasti)
•    little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii)
The brown kiwi and tokoeka are further divided into four genetically distinct groups or taxa (singular: taxon): the Northland, Coromandel, western and the eastern brown kiwi; and the Haast tokoeka, the northern Fiordland tokoeka, the southern Fiordland tokoeka and the Stewart Island tokoeka.

This bird can be found in New Zeeland. You can see it in other zoos around the world, but since it cannot fly, the kiwis have not been able to emigrate anywhere else around the world. They can be seen in mountain area or pine forests.

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Kiwis are omnivore birds and their diet consists of worms, insects, some seeds and leaves. They are also fond of frogs and they like to capture crayfish.

These land birds are in danger of disappearing. The rowi is the most endangered species, due to its limited population. The brown kiwi and the great spotted kiwi are also on the verge of extinction. The kiwi eggs are not safe from predators such as possums, ferrets and other animals. The modifications that their natural habitat is going through is another cause that might lead to the extinction of the kiwi bird.

Interesting Facts

•    Their small size is not an impediment for them to lay ostrich sized eggs .The female kiwi has the largest egg, in proportion to its body size, of any bird in the world (except possibly for the hummingbird). Kiwi are about the same size as chickens, but their eggs are almost as big as those of ostriches!
•    They got their names after the sounds they make” kee-wee”
•    They don’t have nest like regular birds do, they live in burrows
•    A male and female kiwi bird will stay together for 20 years or more
•    Baby kiwis take about 5 years to reach adult size
•    The kiwi bird is also the unofficial emblem of New Zeeland
•    The male kiwi bird is in charge of the egg incubation
•    The kiwi (bird) is the only bird in the world that has its nostrils at the end of its beak.  
•    Dr Stephen Jay Gould’s 1986 essay, which sought to explain the origins of the kiwi egg’s size, promoted the idea that the kiwi was highly derived from a large moa-like ancestor, and had shrunk in size while retaining the egg size of this ancestor.

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