Weird animals: Kiwi

The Kiwi

Everyone knows the beloved endangered weird animals Kiwi is a flightless bird. As if to make up for its winged impotence, the kiwi is actually a violent, temperamental little bird. But its quirks don’t stop there. The only bird with whiskers is also distinctly dog-like in its ability to sniff out food and threats. In fact, it has the most highly developed sense of smell of any bird, lifting its “nose” (beak) into the breeze to determine its surroundings, just like a dog would. That’s probably because kiwis are also the only bird to have prominent nostrils. Contrary to popular belief, the kiwi does have wings, but they are tiny and difficult to detect under the loose, fluffy, hair-like feathers. The kiwi has many other unusual characteristics: the eggs are relatively huge, being one-fifth the bird’s weight; kiwi pairs mate for life – as long as 30 years – but tend to have feisty relationships; the females are larger and more dominant than the males. In fact, daddy kiwis incubate the young while mom hunts – for an unheard-of 80 days, no less. Did you know that kiwis are the smallest ratites on earth? Other ratites include ostrich and emu.

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