Difference between Kiwi and Penguin

Key Difference: Kiwi and Penguin are flightless birds. Kiwi belongs to Apterygidae Family in the Animalia Kingdom. There are five known species of kiwi, as well as a number of subspecies. Penguins are the group of aquatic flightless birds living in the Southern hemisphere. They are carnivores, and they mainly feed on zooplankton including squids, crustaceans, and fish.

Many people are not familiar with the different types of birds that are present in the environment. Kiwi and penguins are often easy to tell apart because of their appearance. However, where do they reside, what they eat, and how they differ from each other in many ways including behavior? Kiwi is native to New Zealand, which also has more species of penguins  than in any other country. For example: the Hoiho or Yellow Eyed Penguin.

Kiwi belongs to the Apterygidae Family in the Animalia Kingdom. There are five known species of kiwi, as well as a number of subspecies. They are the birds that lack the ability to fly. They are strictly nocturnal birds that scavenge on the forest floor using their long and thin beak to search the soil for small animals such as grubs and earthworms. A kiwi’s egg is 6 times bigger than a hen’s egg. They lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world. The kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand.

 

Penguins are the group of aquatic flightless birds living in the Southern hemisphere. They are carnivores, and they mainly feed on zooplankton, squids, crustaceans, and fish. They mainly rely on running or swimming, but they did evolve from flying predators. They have more feathers than the kiwi; and they can spend half of their lives on land and half of their lives in the ocean. However, many of the penguins live in the temperate seas of the Southern hemisphere, some in Antarctica, and one species (Galápagos penguin) live close to the equator. Most penguin species mate by forming monogamous pairs in a breeding season. They lay two eggs at a time; however, the Emperor and the King Penguins, which are the two largest penguin species lay only one. In contrast to other penguins, the Emperor male hatches the egg, while the female hunts.

Comparison between Kiwi and Penguin:

 

Kiwi

Penguin

Kingdom

Animalia

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Chordata

Class

Aves

Aves

Order

Apterygiformes

Sphenisciformes

Family

Apterygidae

Spheniscidae

Characteristics

They are flightless birds; and they lay the largest eggs with the relation of their body size. Their wings are not visible because they are very small.

They are flightless birds; and have developed their wings into flippers. They are carnivores. They spend a shared life in land and ocean.

Classification

There are five known species of kiwi, as well as a number of subspecies.

They are a group of birds that includes six subgroups and about 17 to 20 species.

Colouration

It depends upon the species, but generally for the most part, kiwis are brown. Some are darker or lighter than others, and most are also speckled with white or lighter flecks.

Their bodies are black and white, sometimes with yellow as well, and their beak is generally red colored.

Lives on

Solid dirt in it’s habitat

Ice or sand

Surrounding

Kiwi lives in the grass and native bush.

The penguins need to live near the water.

Beak

They have a beak that is about 1/3 the length of their body. It is extremely sensitive to touch. Kiwi is the only bird with nostrils at the end. It helps them find wriggling insects underground when they poke their beak deep into the dirt.

They have a strong beak; that is used for catching. The edges of the beak are sharp and have rough spines in the inside to help them hold onto the slippery fish they catch under water.

Food sources

For kiwis, food is very essential. Thus, they reside near the food sources. They live in the bush because they can dig in the ground for insects like worms.

For penguins too, food is very important. Thus, they reside near the water and eat seafood like fresh squid, crustaceans, and fish.

Predators

Kiwis predators are stoats, ferrets, cats and dogs.

Penguin’s predators mostly come from the sea like sharks and leopard seals.

Types of Species

  • Brown Kiwi (Apertyx matelli)
  • Rowi, or Okarito Rowi (Apertyx rowi)
  • Great spotted Kiwi or roroa (Apertyx haasti)
  • Little spotted Kiwi (Apertyx owenii)
  • Tokoeka (Apertyx australis)

Each species belongs to a larger grouping of closely related species known as genus. However, the living penguins comprise six genera:

  • Aptenodytes
  • Eudyptes
  • Eudyptula
  • Megadyptes
  • Pygoscelis
  • Spheniscus

Eggs

A Kiwi’s egg is 6 times bigger than a hen’s egg. The female lays her eggs in a burrow-like nest and the male hatches the eggs for an incubation period of about 70 days.

Most penguins lay two eggs in a clutch, although the Emperor and the King Penguins lay only one. Usually, both male and female hatch the eggs, but it is the male’s duty in the case of Emperor penguins.

Image Courtesy: suziesden.com, birdforum.net

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