Kiwi


Kiwi can refer to a climbing plant and an animal, specifically a New Zealand bird.

The kiwi is a species of edible fruit native to Southeast Asia, it belongs to the family of Actinidiaceae (Actinidiaceae), and the genus Actinidiapresents more than 60 species, of which the most important and commercial are Actinidia chinensis, Actinidia deliciosa and Actinidia arguta.

Native to southern China, commercial cultivation began in New Zealand in 1930, where its name probably comes from there due to the similarity between its fruit and the kiwi bird, since it has many villi like the feathers of that bird. In 1959, the name kiwifruit was accepted in international trade, and in the 70s its cultivation spread to other countries in the temperate zone (Chile, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the USA). .

Its fruit is small, oval in shape with greenish-brown skin covered with a fine fuzz, enclosing inside an emerald green pulp with tiny black seeds arranged in a circle around a cream-white heart known as a columella.

Kiwi is an exotic fruit with a high content of water and fiber, low in cholesterol, as well as a great contribution of vitamin C and E. It produces anticancer effects, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity, improves the immune system and increases defenses in the organism. Also, it provides other essential nutrients such as phosphate, magnesium and copper.

Regarding the Kiwi as a bird, this is the national bird of New Zealand and the most famous bird that could not fly. It belongs to the family Apterygids (Apterygidae), of the genus Apteryx “wingless”. There are three species of this animal; brown or brown kiwi (Apteryx australis), the greater spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii), and the lesser spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii).

It is a very strange type of bird. It does not fly, nor does it live in trees like normal birds, as it has very small wings under its thick feathers, and therefore lives in the forest land of New Zealand looking for food in dead leaves and soil (especially worms and other small invertebrates, seeds and berries) through smell, a rare characteristic among birds.

All its species are similar, with rudimentary wings, a robust and compact body, strong legs and holes at the end of its long and thin flexible bill. It is a nocturnal bird, its eyes are tiny and its sight poor, and it may have evolved this way to avoid being preyed upon by giant eagles.

Currently the kiwi is in danger of extinction, due to the persecution of stoats, possums, mice, dogs, among others. In addition, that in previous times their species were devastated by the trade in their feathers. Therefore, New Zealanders have a large conservation program to protect their precious kiwis.