Other names: Schnepfen bouquet
Latin name: Apteryx
size: 30 - 45cm
mass: 1 - 3kg
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: brown, dense plumage
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Fruits, insects, worms
distribution: New Zealand
original origin: New Zealand
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: humid climate, fertile humus soil, preferably dense vegetation
natural enemies: Dog, cat, marten
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: August - October
breeding season: 30 days
clutch size: 1 - 2 eggs
social behavior: Family Association
Threatened with extinction: Yes
> Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the kiwis
- The Kiwis or Apteryx describe a five-species genus of small flightless ratites, which are native to New Zealand. They occur on all three major islands, so both on Stewart Iceland, as well as on the North Island and the South Island and on many smaller islands of New Zealand.
- Originally, the kiwis only populated dense forests, but have adapted perfectly to the man-made landscape of their homeland. Today they are also found in cultivated coniferous forests as well as in open landscapes. Apart from moist and humus-rich soil conditions, they do not place high demands on their habitats. They even occupy altitudes of up to 1200 meters.
- Within the ratites the kiwis are the smallest representatives.
- To date, it is not clearly understood whether kiwis evolved into flightless birds in the course of their evolution or even their ancestors possessed stunted wings.
- Not only in their size, but also in their biology, the kiwis stand out clearly from the other species of ratites.
- With their comparatively low body temperature of only 38 ° C and their feathery hair, leathery and thick skin, and the peculiarity of building caves instead of nests, they have many features that are otherwise only known by mammals.
- The dark brown plumage of kiwis is a shaggy texture, reminiscent of the fur of mammals.
- Even the sounds of kiwis sound more like the grunts of pigs or other mammals than bird sounds.
- In contrast to all other bird species, the kiwi skeleton consists of very heavy bones.
- Similar to bats, kiwis have small pointed claws on the edge of their stub wings, which are only five centimeters long at the most.
- The wings are stunted so far that they no longer fulfill any functions.
- The lack of a tail results in the characteristic oval shape of the kiwis.
- With a maximum body length of 45 centimeters kiwis bring depending on the species a weight of up to 3 kilograms on the scales.
- Remarkable is their up to twenty centimeters long and downward curved beak, with which the Kiwis poke in the earth for food.
- They feed as nocturnal omnivores of both worms, millipedes and various insects as well as fruits.
- Kiwis are very localized and move in a solid area marked with dung, where they also create their cave structures.
- They move forward on the ground with hopping, slightly clumsy steps.
- Kiwis join together to form strictly monogamous couples. The mating season extends from August to October. During this time the kiwis show pronounced courtship rituals with leaps, playful hunts and calls.
- The relatively large eggs of the kiwis are hatched depending on the species of both partners or only by the male.
- The chicks hatch after a nesting period of up to three months and leave the nest after a few days.
- Many kiwis are captured by predators such as cats, dogs, martens or weasels.
- The life expectancy of kiwis is a maximum of twenty years.