Historical Victorian Taxidermy

Kiwi Taxidermy

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Kiwi.


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Victorian Taxidermy, a Historical Perspective of British specimens

Kiwi

Kiwi are flightless birds endemic to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae.At around the size of a domestic chicken, kiwi are by far the smallest living ratites and lay the largest egg in relation to their body size. There are five recognised species, all of which are endangered; all species have been adversely affected by historic deforestation but currently large areas of their forest habitat are well protected in reserves and national parks; at present, the greatest threat to their survival is predation by invasive mammalian species. The kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand - indeed, the association is so strong that the term Kiwi is used, all over the world, as the colloquial demonym for New Zealanders. .

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Brown Kiwi by Rowland Ward

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Kiwi in a N ew Zealand case by McCleay of Inverness.

Prior to the arrival of humans in the 13th century or earlier, New Zealand's only endemic mammals were three species of bat, and the ecological niches that in other parts of the world were filled by creatures as diverse as horses, wolves and mice were taken up by birds (and, to a lesser extent, reptiles). Kiwi are shy and usually nocturnal. Their mostly nocturnal habits may be a result of habitat intrusion by predators, including humans. In areas of New Zealand where introduced predators have been removed, such as sanctuaries, kiwi are often seen in daylight. They prefer subtropical and temperate podocarp and beech forests, but they are being forced to adapt to different habitat, such as sub-alpine scrub, tussock grassland, and the mountains. Kiwi have a highly developed sense of smell, unusual in a bird, and are the only birds with nostrils at the end of their long beak. Kiwi eat small invertebrates, seeds, grubs, and many varieties of worms. They also may eat fruit, small crayfish, eels and amphibians. Because their nostrils are located at the end of their long beaks, Kiwi can locate insects and worms underground without actually seeing or feeling them, due to their keen sense of smell.
Relative size of the eggOnce bonded, a male and female kiwi tend to live their entire lives as a monogamous couple. During the mating season, June to March, the pair call to each other at night, and meet in the nesting burrow every three days. These relationships may last for up to 20 years. They are unique among other birds in that they have a functioning pair of ovaries. Kiwi eggs can weigh up to one quarter the weight of the female. Usually only one egg is laid per season. The kiwi lays the biggest egg in proportion to its size of any bird in the world, so even though the kiwi is about the size of a domestic chicken, it is able to lay eggs that are about six times the size of a chicken's egg. Eggs are smooth in texture, and are ivory or green-ish white.] The male incubates the egg, except for the Great spotted kiwi, A. haastii, where both parents are involved. The incubation period is 6392 days. Producing the huge egg places a lot of demands on the female. For the thirty days it takes to grow the fully developed egg the female must eat three times her normal amount of food. Two to three days before the egg is laid there is little space left inside the female for her stomach.
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Kiwi's by George Butt, who worked for the firm of Rowland Ward. One Kiwi is a normal Brown Kiwi (Left) and the much rarer spotted is located on the right. The distinctive black label with gold writing is evident to the bottom left of this picture. The groundwork and attention to detail is also superb.

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Kiwi's by George Butt, who worked for the firm of Rowland Ward.

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Kiwi's by George Butt, who worked for the firm of Rowland Ward.

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Brown Kiwi by Rowland Ward

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Kiwi and Platypus by Ashmead of London.

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Victorian Kiwi by James Gardner.


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Victorian Kiwi by James Gardner.


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Victorian Kiwi by James Gardner.




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