The average female kiwi weighs around 3 kilograms, average kiwi eggs weighs 371 grams! That’s 15% of the kiwi’s weight.
Kiwis are a particularly small bird, quite famously so in fact, however that does not reflect on what they can produce. Kiwi eggs are quite honestly horrifically ginormous, and it is almost unbelievable they are even able to lay them at all.
But before we talk about kiwi eggs, let’s first do a quick run down of kiwis as a whole. For any one still confused, i am indeed talking about the bird and not the delicious (albeit irrelevant to this blog) fruit.
Kiwi’s in a nutshell (or eggshell)
Kiwis are a gorgeously adorable little bird native to New Zealand (the land down under, and then to the right a bit). They stand at a very petite average of only two feet tall. For reference, kiwis are just about the same size as chickens. So quite a bit bigger than you might imagine them to be.
Kiwis are amongst the midst of penguins, emus and ostriches in the sense that they are entirely flightless birds. Kiwis push this even further in the sense that they are actually almost entirely wingless too.
In case you’re wondering how a bird, which is a group of animals characterized by their ability to fly, can evolve to not fly at all then let me tell you. Humans only arrived on New Zealand around a thousand years ago, a ridiculously short amount of time ago. Before our arrival on the little island, there were absolutely zero land predators. This meant that land animals had absolutely no fear of being hunted or killed by other animals, therefore kiwis really didn’t have any reason to fly! I don’t know about you, but i was quite blown away by this fact!
Kiwis live on a diet of small insects, berries and other plant material that they happen across – they’re little foragers!
Now the fun stuff: kiwi eggs
Now that we’ve had a quick run down of some kiwi basics, let’s get onto the heart of this blog. Kiwi eggs weigh a ridiculous amount, with no other bird really coming close in terms of egg:mother size ratio.
The reason for this is that a larger egg means that kiwis are more precocial when they hatch. This in essence means that they are more capable of looking after themselves and more functional as a whole. They emerge fully feathered, can open their eyes straight away and are actually able to find food for themselves within a week. This makes them perfect for avoiding any dangers or threats that other, more incapable fledgling species would struggle with.
Kiwis are quite unique as far as birds go, not only for their small stature and gigantic ovum but also for their mating habits. Once a kiwi has found a mate and had a chick, those mates will stay together for life in a monogamous kiwi relationship. So cute!
I hope reading this week’s blog has taught you a lot about the humble kiwi, one of nature’s smallest and often overlooked creatures. Remember that sometimes the smallest animals are also the most interesting!
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.