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  • Two female South Island takahē fighting, Tiritiri Matangi Island
    Rights: Martin Sanders Published 7 February 2019 Size: 1.1 MB Referencing Hub media

    Adaptation is an evolutionary process whereby a species becomes increasingly well suited to living and successfully breeding in a particular habitat. These are changes that usually occur over many, many generations. Scientists categorise adaptations into three types – structural (or morphological), behavioural and physiological.

    Takahē have adapted to living on the forest edge and in the open tussock plains. They have vestigial wings and cannot fly. They have evolved a larger body size with short, thick-set legs. Takahē have strong beaks that can strip the high nutrient food off the tussock grasses and not create lasting damage to the plant. They have a large range and are territorial.

    Related Hub resources

    Related ZEALANDIA resource:

    • Adaptations visual organiser – template for students to organise ideas related to adaptations of red deer, stoat, snow tussock and takahē

    IMAGE: Martin Sanders

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