Yeah, I haven't done a Caturday post in the past two weeks. Not that it matters, my cats have been boring, lazy, cute fluffballs. Nothing to add there.
I'd actually rather show you this funny video. See, I was watching the Science Channel the other night and saw a special on New Zealand and how its 'birdland.' or at least was, before explorers brought rodents. These parrots, Kakapo (meaning Night Parrot in Maori), were featured prominently. This isn't the video I saw, but its sufficiently cute/awesome.
Anyways, these cute, flightless, fat parrots reminded my of my fat cat, Reyn. They are pretty cute, but they are endangered. Humans have considered them a delicacy or easy roadside food, and rodent enjoy their eggs. There are, as of February 2010, 120 known living individuals, making them the rarest parrot in the world. I don't know how they are doing over a year later, but there is definitely a plan for recovery. Wikipedia is, of course, where I send my reference.
They also have cousins, the Kea, the only true alpine parrot in the world. They are confined to the Southern Alps, the mountain range that runs along New Zealand.
As a minor astrobiologist, I have a love for all life forms. It is sad to see a unique ecology threatened. Every extinction is a loss to the over all study of life. There is a small advantage in knowing what dominates on Earth, but it divides us from alien possibilities. There is a special knowledge now that says birds are directly related to dinosaurs. And understanding flightless birds in New Zealand gives us an amazing chance to look back in time.