Rainbow Springs Nature Park

Rainbow springs nature park is the place to see Kiwi in New Zealand. Naturally nocturnal, they are tough to spot in the dark. And they run impressively fast. Their Kiwi Encounter tour is well worth a visit!  Kiwis are native to New Zealand and Approximately the size of a domestic chicken, kiwi are by far the smallest living ratites (which also consist of ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries), and lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world.  In general you can’t really determine the sex of the kiwi chicks, so they pluck a couple of feathers and send it for DNA testing to determine the sex of the chick.  They are raised until they are big enough to take on most predators before being released into the wild.  Sadly enough ferrets, dogs and rats are responsible for poor Kiwi survival rates, but are actively managed in and around Kiwi habitats.

At the park, they also have some Tuatara – which is an interesting lizard but it much more like a dinosaur because it’s been around for more than 200 million years. They have a third eye and can molecularly evolve very fast.. faster than any other animal measured to date. They live for about 60 years on average, but some individuals have made it to over 110 and some people figure captive ones can live for up to 200 years. Like lizards they can pop off their tails when threatened and regenerate a new one.

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