Kiwifruit and kiwibird
The kiwi is New Zealand’s feathered favorite. It is a strange little bird found only in the forests of New Zealand. New Zealanders are sometimes called Kiwis. It is a nocturnal bird. During the day it sleeps in its burrow, and at night it looks for food. Kiwis eat worms, insects, larvae, spiders, and berries. These birds have a strong sense of smell. Their bills are long and narrow and kiwis are the only birds whose nostrils are on the very tip of the bill. Kiwis cannot fly, but they run very fast.
Kiwis are monogamous and mate for life. The kiwi’s egg is about 20 percent of the mother’s weight. It fills almost her entire body right before it’s laid. The male takes care of an egg for almost 3 months. It takes chick 3 days to hatch. These birds live up to 60 years.
Pictures of the bird can be seen on New Zealand’s postage stamps and coins.
China is homeland of kiwifruit. Wild kiwi weighs only 30 grams, while cultivated is about 70-100 grams. Kiwi is a berry. Chinese emperors in ancient times used it as an aphrodisiac. Europeans called kiwi Chinese gooseberry, although in fact they are not relatives. Kiwi is a liana, and gooseberry is a bush. Kiwi vines grow in water in summer. Kiwis continue to grow and mature after they are harvested. Kiwi was originally discovered in northern China, in the valley of the Yangtze River. They were brought to other countries by missionaries. When in the 1950s the New Zealanders began to export it to the US, the name “kiwi” was invented for the similarity of its shape to the body of the New Zealand bird kiwi, which is the emblem of this country.
Kiwi contains more vitamin C than any citrus. A high potassium content makes kiwi beneficial for some forms of hypertension, iodine deficiency. Kiwi helps in the fight against depression. Kiwi is widely used in cosmetology, because its juice tones, tightens and rejuvenates the skin.
Most of the fruit is water (about 84%).