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apteryx(ăp`tərĭks), common name for the smallest member of an order of primitive flightless birds related to the ostrichostrich,
common name for a large flightless bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa and parts of SW Asia, allied to the rhea, the emu and the extinct moa. It is the largest of living birds; some males reach a height of 8 ft (244 cm) and weigh from 200 to 300 lb (90–135
..... Click the link for more information. , the emuemu
, common name for a large, flightless bird of Australia, related to the cassowary and the ostrich. There is only one living species, Dromaius novaehollandiae. It is 5 to 6 ft (150–180 cm) tall and a very swift runner.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the cassowarycassowary
, common name for a flightless, swift-running, pugnacious forest bird of Australia and the Malay Archipelago, smaller than the ostrich and emu. The plumage is dark and glossy and the head and neck unfeathered, wattled, and brilliantly colored, with variations in the
..... Click the link for more information. . The kiwi, named by the Maoris for its shrill, piping call, is most closely related to the extinct moamoa
[Maori], common name for an extinct flightless bird of New Zealand related to the kiwi, the emu, the cassowary, and the ostrich. The various species ranged in size from that of a turkey to the 10-ft (3-m) Dinornis giganteus.
..... Click the link for more information. . It is the size of a large chicken and has short, stout legs and coarse, dark plumage that hides the rudimentary wings. It lacks wing and tail plumes and walks with a rolling gait. It is the only bird whose nostrils open at the tip of the bill, which is 6 in. (15 cm) long, slender, and curved. Kiwis hide during the day and forage at night for grubs and worms. Their eyesight is poor; the long, hairy bristles at the base of the bill are believed to have a tactile function which is thought to supplement their keen sense of smell in hunting. Kiwis nest in underground burrows, the male performing the incubational duties. The one or two chalky white eggs are 5 in. (12.5 cm) long, weigh almost 1 lb. (0.5 kg), and take from 75 to 80 days to hatch. The three living species of kiwi, genus Apteryx, have dwindled with the advance of agriculture and the introduction of predators such as cats, weasels, and stoats, but they are now rigidly protected by law. The kiwi is the symbol of New Zealand and appears on the seal, coins, stamps, and on various products of its homeland; overseas New Zealand troops are popularly called kiwis. Kiwis are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Struthioniformes, family Apterygidae.
(also apteryx), a bird of the order Apterygiformes. Its wings are not fully developed, and there is no tail. The legs are strong, with sharp claws. The kiwi has soft plumage which covers the entire body evenly. The bill is long and flexible, with nostrils at its very tip. The eyes are small, but the senses of hearing and smell are well developed. The bird weighs 1.4–4.0 kg. There are three species, which are found in New Zealand. The largest is the brown kiwi (Apteryx australis), which inhabits both islands. The great spotted kiwi (A. haasti) and the little spotted kiwi (A. oweni) are found only on South Island. Kiwis are nocturnal birds that hide in humid evergreen forests. The brown kiwi lays one or two eggs, each weighing approximately 450 g, or one-eighth of the bird’s weight, in a burrow or under the roots of a tree. The male sits on the egg 75–77 days. Six days after hatching, the nestlings begin to feed independently. Kiwis feed on worms, insects, and fallen berries. The kiwi population has declined significantly. Its range has been reduced as a result of the introduction of predators to the island, such as cats, dogs, and weasels. Kiwis are protected by the government.