Distinct Island Ecosystems

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.comThese islands are defined by their geologic past, both as landforms and as ecosystems supporting life. Plants and animals found here are marvelously unique, but often retain similar characteristics to their Gondwanan ancestors. Some early residents of Gondwana’s new islands were large flightless birds called ratites. These include New Zealand’s kiwis, as well as the now extinct giant moas. Each island is an evolutionary laboratory different from the last.