Friday, November 4, 2011

Giants of New Zealand

On year 2009, New Zealand Post celebrate the unique natural heritage with a “larger than life” illustrated issue, features five giant animal stamps, 28 % larger than normal stamps.
New Zealand’s biodiversity is one of the most unusual on Earth, owing to the lengthy isolation from other continents. Consequently the fauna reflect this uniqueness, envolving into distinctive and often enormous native birds, such as the giant moa and the giant eagle, archaic insects like the giant weta and mammoth ocean dwellers including the colossal squid and Southern right whale.

Giant Weta is species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae which has ten-centimetre-long and its horror-movie looks. Its a peaceful creature, eating mostly leaves, flowers and fruit. Most of Giant Weta are endangered and survives mainly on protected islands.

Giant wetas are endemic to New Zealand, and are examples of island gigantism.

Giant Eagle is the world’s largest eagle, believed to have become extinct around the same time as the Giant moa.

Southern Right Whale is a favourite of early whalers owing to their size and slow speed, southern right whales were easier to catch and yielded more oil than other whales.
Hence, the early settlers described this giant species as the right whale. It rightly earns a spot as a Giant of New Zealand in this collection.

The Colossal Squid with its formidable tentacles equipped with sharp, swivelling hooks, comes from the depths of the southern oceans. Historically captured by a New Zealand fishing boat of Antarctica in 2007.

Believed to have become extinct around 500 years ago, the South Island Giant Moa was the tallest bird ever, with some reaching a massive three metres in height. 

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