Monday, November 10, 2014

Creature Feature #387: Kiwi

The Kiwi is a rather unusual bird, found only in New Zealand. As this isolated island had no land-dwelling mammals, the kiwi evolved to fill a similar niche to that of the badger. Her body temperature is lower than most birds, closer to that of a mammal. She is flightless, her wings little more than a hook of bone. To compensate, she has sturdy legs. During the day she sleeps in hollows or burrows, venturing out at night to forage. Her long bill probes in the leaf litter and she is the only bird in the world to have nostrils at the tip. These help her sniff out tasty invertebrates.

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