New Zealand is a country located in the Southern Hemisphere. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the country belonged to a much larger mass of land, which was also a part of the continent of Asia and Australia. As such, there are some species of animals that are somehow similar to that of the Australasian mainland. Marsupials, for example, do thrive in some areas in New Zealand.
The group of islands, being in the middle of the equator and the South Pole, experiences extreme climate. There are parts where rainforests thrive, others are dominated by dry grasslands, while others ' especially those farthest from the equator ' experience winter. These variations of geography and climate allow for the existence of a lot of species.
The Kiwi is long considered as the symbol of New Zealand. It is, after all, the most unique bird in the world. It is a nocturnal creature; it is slow and incapable of flight. This happened several hundred million years ago as a biological adaptive response to the lack of predators in the areas.
Bats are also quite bountiful in the country. Being mountainous with hundreds upon hundreds of caves and large trees, bats consider New Zealand as a haven. The long and short-tailed bats ' the latter is endangered ' all habituate the rainforests where they make colossal trees as their shelter while they dine on fruits.
New Zealand is also home to the tuatara
. The tuatara is actually a reptile who has remained virtually unchanged in its millions of years of existence. As such, it is often regarded as a living fossil. Although it looks mean, it is actually very gentle and prefers to eat green algae.
The last unique species are the shags. Shags are members of the cormorant family. They are excellent divers that can hold their breath for as much as 3 minutes.
Possums, although sometimes considered as a native, actually came from Europe through the settlers who introduced the common brushtail possum to the islands when they arrived centuries ago.