Kōrero: Kiwi

Kiwi skeleton

Kiwi skeleton

Most birds have a raised central keel on their breastbone, to which their main flight muscles are attached. But ratites have a flat breastbone. This etching, which appeared in Richard Owen’s Memoirs on the extinct wingless birds of New Zealand in 1879, illustrates the absence of a keel in kiwi.

Using this item

National Library of New Zealand, General Lending Collection
Reference: Richard Owen, Memoirs on the extinct wingless birds of New Zealand. London: John Van Voorst, 1879, plate VIII

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Jock Phillips, 'Kiwi - A remarkable bird', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/artwork/11235/kiwi-skeleton (accessed 22 October 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 15 May 2015