Posted by: thezedword | October 9, 2008

Speaking of birds…

A pukeko!

A nice man at Farmer’s, a Macy’s-like chain, told us one day the natural history of New Zealand. Theory has it that New Zealand split off Australia, went for a swim in the ocean until its fingers got wrinkly, then popped up to dry off. As a result, the only native animals on New Zealand are birds. There is the goofy pukeko, the famous kiwi, the tui, which has the award and a beer named after it, and some annoying bastard I haven’t been able to identify that lives outside my window, sounds like R2-D2 and never goes to sleep.

Other benefits of being submerged underwater for thousands of years that somehow my native Florida missed out on:

No poisonous anything. There is allegedly one poisonous red spider that lives on the logs at the beach, but the man at Farmer’s assured we wouldn’t encounter these. However, there are lots of scary-looking benign ones.

A tui!

A kiwi!

No snakes. They can’t breath underwater. Yet.

That’s all I could think of.

Of course, over the years, mammals, like me, were introduced to the island. The most dangerous of us is the terrible possum. A government Web site even has a page dedicated to “The Threat of possums,” which you can find here.



  1. Wow! Great reporting. You should totally do one of those travel shows.

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