Friday, November 30, 2012

Why I Skipped Grad School

The fellow was giving an informative and amusing TED talk about animals and was discussing a kind of flightless New Zealand parrot when he made the common observation that New Zealand had numerous flightless birds due to lack of predators. It appears the islands have never been connected to the other land masses so that whatever lives there either flew or hitched a ride; and, apparently, no predators did, only birds.

That’s when my convoluted thinking stepped in. Hmm, I thought, strange that no bird there had decided to become predatory. Step two: stranger still that no hawk or eagle had taken to flying over with the rest of the birds; didn’t they have them in Australia?

Well, yes, they do have them in Australia, it turns out. Only then did it occur to me to check out New Zealand where I should have begun the search, and, yes, New Zealand does have hawks and owls. Always has had.

One can only presume that it was a more effective means of escape to hide than to fly for many New Zealand birds, but predators they have and had.

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