Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Rock wren (2nd of 3)

Rock wren

The rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris) is a little alpine bird that lives under rocks beneath winter snows. Along with the rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris), the wren belongs to the family Acanthisittidae. DNA analysis suggests that they are living relatives of the earliest passeriform (perching) birds. These birds date back at least 85 million years, when New Zealand split from Gondwana.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10047599
Photograph by Graeme Loh

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How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Split from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 July 2024)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007