Takahē are one of many species that became large and flightless after reaching New Zealand. With no need to escape from ground predators, the birds could afford to lose the power of flight. Once flightless, getting heavy is not a drawback – in fact it makes it feasible to fill up with slow-to-digest leafy food. The takahē is much heavier than its close relative the pūkeko, a more recent arrival.
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Photograph by Christina Troup
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