Story: Native plants and animals – overview

Giant centipede

Giant centipede

Thirteen-year-old Jordan Carter lets a centipede (Cormocephalus rubriceps) crawl up his arm during the 2006 BioBlitz. In this event, scientists target a certain area (in this case Corban Estate in West Auckland) and try to identify as many different species as they can find. Many people are unaware of what lives in their own backyard. BioBlitz demonstrates that native creatures live everywhere, not just in reserves. The giant centipede, which can grow to 25 centimetres, is an example of gigantism – a feature of many New Zealand native species. In the absence of mammals, large flightless invertebrates (such as wētā and centipedes) occupied the niche which in other land masses small mammals (such as mice and rats) exploited.

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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 24 March 2006
Photograph by Dean Purcell

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Bob Brockie, 'Native plants and animals – overview - Forest animals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 July 2024)

Story by Bob Brockie, published 24 Sep 2007