The Endangered Yet Naughty Kakapo

The Kakapo (Owl Parrot) is a flightless parrot that wanders New Zealand. There are only 90 left in the world. They way this fellow reacts, it's not hard to see why. But despite his state of confusion, the real source of his demise is the introduction of other species by man over the past several hundred years.

It's a coincidence that I ran across this video over at The Intersection. I started out there reading Mooney's and Kirshenbaum's take on Jerry Coyne's review of their book, Unscientific America (which I have yet to read). This spat has been going on awhile. I'm also reading Jerry Coyne's book, Why Evolution is True (which I highly recommend). He devotes a chapter to biogeography, explaining the differences in the diversity of creatures between continents and islands, noting the difference between continental islands (i.e. those that broke away from larger continents millions of years ago), and Oceanic Islands (i.e. those that rose from the sea via vulcanism). He also devotes a chapter to vestigial traits. The Kakapo happens to be featured in both.

Long live the Kakapo.

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