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Re: Kiwis



> Stephen J. Gould wrote an essay about this.  But hasn't New Zealand been
> separated from all other land masses for an awful long time?  If so, I
> assume that the ancestors of NZ birds would have to have flown there
> originally.  Why would the kiwi have a big egg if its big ancestors had
> small ancestors?

     The kiwi is beleived to have evolved from a large ratite (most 
ratites being large, like ostriches and emu) that evolved small size, but 
the size of its egg didn't reduce as quickly, resulting in a little bird 
wityh a huge egg.  However, the huge egg was kept since this 
benefits the kiwi by producing very large and precocial hatchlings.

LN Jeff