New Zealand goose

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New Zealand geese
Temporal range: Otiran-Holocene
C. calcitrans and Cereopsis novaehollandiae skeletons
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Genus: Cnemiornis
Owen 1866
  • C. gracilis
  • C. calcitrans

The New Zealand geese formed the extinct genus Cnemiornis of the family Anatidae, subfamily Anserinae.

C. gracilis

The genus, endemic to New Zealand, consisted of two species: the North Island goose, C. gracilis and the South Island goose C. calcitrans. They were flightless with much-reduced webbing on the feet, an adaptation for terrestrial dwelling similar to that of the nene of Hawaii. They were never particularly common, and like many other large New Zealand endemic species they were subject to hunting pressures from the settling Polynesians, as well as predation upon their eggs and hatchlings by kiore/Polynesian rat (which accompanied the settlers) and the settlers' dogs, and were extinct before the arrival of European settlers.

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