Science: News from Lake Te Anau

New Zealand used to be full of flight-.ess birds, including the giant moa twelve feet tall. They had scrapped their flying apparatus because they didn't need it; there were few ground enemies to zoom away from. But when man (first the Maoris, then the whites) arrived in New Zealand, bringing along dogs, cats and rats, the flightless birds had a tough time. Some went the way of the dodo.

One of the sufferers was the takahe (Notornis hochstetteri), a bird 18 inches tall with a bronze-green breast and rudimentary wings. According to Maori tales, it had once made plentiful good eating, but...

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