New Zealand has some weird birds, and they know it. Sure, you’ve probably seen the Seussian kiwi, but what about the kākāpo, a flightless parrot that looks like a particularly friendly owl? Have you heard of the morepork, an owl so named because it sounds like it shouts “MORE PORK,” or the wrybill, the only bird with a crooked beak? But only one bird could be the bird of the year, so the country voted for the kererū, the drunken New Zealand wood pigeon.
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If you heard a bear roar for the first time but didn’t see the snarling beast, what would you think? Would you be scared? Maybe, but maybe not — the forest is full of strange noises. But what if, at the same time, one of your friends said, “Holy shit, I know all about that clawed monster and we need to get in the car”?
While the flightless dodo has long since died out -- because humans ate the crap out of them -- its memory lives on in our imagination. So much about the quirky birds -- which were endemic only to the island of Mauritius -- remains a mystery, but new research has finally provided some insights into the dodo's reproductive habits and life cycle.