Kiwi Facts

Kiwi Facts
Kiwi is the smallest bird of the non-flying family of birds called ratites, which includes ostriches, emu, rheas and extinct Moa. Kiwis are endemic (live only there and nowhere else) for the New Zealand. They can be found in different types of habitats: scrubland, farmland, swamps, pine forest and vegetated gullies. There are 5 kiwi species. Little spotted kiwi and brown kiwi are endangered due to habitat loss, introduction of mammals, diseases, fires and predation.
Interesting Kiwi Facts:
Kiwi is a flightless bird, size as a chicken. It has 20 inches in height and weight up to 2.20 pounds. Females are bigger than males.
Kiwi has unique type of brown-grayish feathers that look like hair which hides vestigial wings that ends with cat-like claws. They also have long whiskers around the beak. Whiskers probably play tactile function.
Unlike other birds, kiwi has a long beak which ends with external nostrils. It has excellent sense of smell.
Kiwi uses its beak to dig out the ground and find the food. During that process beak may collect substantial amount of dirt. Loud snuffling noises are produced when kiwi tries to remove the dirt from its nostrils. They can be heard during the night.
Kiwi consumes both meat and plants. It eats different types of food: worms, spiders, bugs, fruit, freshwater crayfish, frogs and eels.
Kiwi has poor eyesight. It can see six feet in front of itself during the night and only two feet during the day.
Kiwi is nocturnal bird (active during the night) relying completely on its sense of smell.
Kiwi is a unique-looking bird because it evolved in the highly isolated environment. It is very old bird that first appeared on Earth 8 million years ago and has not changed since that time. They are like living fossils.
Unlike other birds, kiwi has a body temperature of 38 degrees of Celsius, which is two degrees less than other birds and two degrees higher than humans.
Kiwi is territorial animal. It is famous for its bad temper and willingness to protect its land whenever it spots an intruder. Their territory may be 40 hectares large.
Kiwi lives in the underground burrows. It uses its strong legs and beak to dig the ground.
Mating season starts in June and ends in March because great quantity of food is available during that period. Males reach sexual maturity with 18 months, and females when they reach 3 years. Kiwis mate for life.
Both ovaries of female kiwis are functional (other birds have only left ovary) and they lay huge eggs. One egg is sized as 20% of the female's body. When comparing egg to body ratio, kiwi produces bigger eggs than ostriches. In some species, male sits on the egg until it hatches.
Due to large egg inside her body, stomach of the female kiwi stretches so much that it touches the ground. After laying the egg, it takes 2.5 months to hatch. Female lays two to three eggs each year.
Kiwi lives up to 40 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

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