My afternoon with Apteryx
I spent most of the afternoon dealing with kiwis, genus Apteryx, in one way or another. I passed a few pleasant minutes photographing the MVZ's mounted kiwi.
Then I had a look at Richard Owen's 1841 monograph on Apteryx australis. Two things you need to know about kiwis:
1. Despite the genus name, they really do have wings. And their wings still have most of the parts they started with. More than those of an emu, anyway. The real "apteryx" (name means wingless) was the moa. Moas had the scapula and coracoid fused into a little splint, but no forelimb bones at all.
2. Their eggs are retarded huge. Above is an x-ray of a pregnant kiwi. I think it's pretty clear that the bird can't eat, drink, poop, or even breathe while that monster is in the pipe. It's science.
Below is one of these oddly disreputable-looking birds* sitting on its egg (image stold from here). Sorta like those weirdos at the gym that sit on the big plastic balls and pretend to be working out.
*Seriously. Every lovin' one of 'em looks like it might hit you up for spare change. I've never seen a picture of kiwi without thinking, "Dammit, boy, have some respect for yourself! Take a bath, shave and get a haircut! And for the love of Pete, put some pants on!"