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On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, Jim Foley wrote:
> 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
We seperated from Gondwana around the end of the Cretaceous, so
there is absolutely no reason why flightless birds couldn't have walked here.
Many of our unique birds clearly did fly here after we separated from
Australia one of the most recent being the Pukeko - which is a reluctant
flier and was perhaps moving towards flightlessness - something its close
relative the Takahe had already done. Our only native mammals, two
species of 'primitive' bat, also flew across the Tasman when it was
less of a hike probably 40 million years ago.
Derek "The Kiwi eats, roots, shoots and leaves" Tearne