Story: Native plants and animals – overview

Extinct coot

Extinct coot

These drawings of a fossil skull of the Chatham Islands coot (Fulica chathamensis) were published in 1896. Found only on the Chatham Islands, the Chatham Islands coot was never collected alive, but fossils have been found in midden layers, along with Moriori artefacts. Its skull is large when compared to other coots. Many of New Zealand’s extinct birds were large. But this adaptation, which had served many native bird species for so long, was a hindrance to survival when humans, the ultimate predators, arrived.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: C. W. Andrews, 'On the extinct birds of the Chatham Islands.' Novitates Zoologicae 3 (1896): 260-271, plate 9

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How to cite this page:

Bob Brockie, 'Native plants and animals – overview - Unusual characteristics of animals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 April 2024)

Story by Bob Brockie, published 24 Sep 2007