Saturday, June 16, 2012

Strange denizens - an introduction


source

 New Zealand is an odd little country. We split away from Antarctica and Australia during the Mesozoic period, then almost disappeared underwater because of volcanic activity and plate movements. We finally emerged in something like our present shape about 24 million years ago (source). Because of our long isolation, we have only two native mammals - 2 small bats. 
We do however have a number of native birds, insects, and trees.

I'm planning an occasional series on the fauna and flora of this country, with the occasional giant extinct bird thrown in. Just as I am fascinated by shots of squirrels and foxes in other countries, I'm hoping people may find some interest in reading about our weird and wonderful inhabitants.
My first real post will be about these guys:


This is a Giant Weta, the heaviest insect on the planet.
 More on him next time. Meantime, it's nearly Monday on this side of the world, so I'm
mentally girding my loins for school tomorrow.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend!


14 comments:

  1. I used to work with Tusked Weta. They were very cool animals, if quite fierce. I do miss them.

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    1. Hmm I had the impression you were a physicist, AK. They do have an agressive demeanour!

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  2. Wouldn't like to be confronted with the Weta.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. They can be intimidating, Filip :)

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  3. Alexia...i am really looking forward to this!! and i can't wait to learn about the Weta! it looks very prehistoric...like an enormous grasshopper with a beak!

    have a good week!

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    1. You have such interesting critters where you live - I am always envious!

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  4. You'll never forgetta
    Your first meeting with a Weta!
    ~

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  5. I'm anxious to read your series.
    If I can make it through all my health issues this summer, I seriously want to make a trip -- even if it's just a touristy one to see famous sites -- during your summer (maybe even your next summer). Thus, reading up on anything will help. Plus, you write so well that it's a pleasure to read your posts.
    Looking forward to learning about that super-sized cricket. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I really appreciate your comments, coming as they do from a Real Writer!

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  6. I look forward to this series! I enjoyed my trip to New Zealand years ago, but I don't think I met one of those!

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    1. You would probably remember it, Galen!

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