Ever wonder why some organisms occur on all or almost all the southern continents?  Paleontologists noticed that a certain plant fossil, Glossopteris, was found in rock deposits (Permian-Triassic) of  Africa, South America, Anarctica, Australia and India.  This led some to believe that there was once a large southern land mass that was eventually named Gonwana after the district in India where this plant was found. Quite a few species show this southern distribution pattern including the Ratites.

These are the large flightless birds of the southern continents, characterized by the absence of a keel on their sternum (breast bone).  Sternal keels act as attachments for muscle in birds that fly.  Since the ratites are flightless, they have no need for such a structure (ratite: from latin ratis for raft). These Paleognath (old jaw) birds are grouped together based upon their unique palate, and are all flightless, although fossil forms show a keel on their sternum which indicates that the living forms evolved from early Cenozoic ancestors that could fly.  The flightless habit has arisen independently and many other flightless birds such as penguins and rails belong to the NEOgnathae along with most of the flying birds. 

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Superorder: Paleognathae
Order: Struthioniformes


        Struthionidae (ostriches)
Rheidae (rheas)
Casuariidae (emus etc.)
          (elephant birds)
Dinornithidae (moa)
Apterygidae (kiwis)

 Order: Tinamiformes                 (Tinamous) 

Some sources:  Wikipedia article    DNA of ratites     Eating ratites


Having nothing better to do, I just took the nerd test.  I mean, I thought that perhaps I was slightly nerdy…maybe…ya know?  Like in a kool sort of way.  Imagine to my surprise when I scored 91% which ranks me as…well look what the results said:


 What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:Supreme Nerd. Apply for a professorship at MIT now!!!.

There has to be a mistake…dontcha think?

UPDATE: December 13, 2011:  I took it again:


Here is your nerdy image:

How can this be?  I am becoming more nerdy…::sob::

However, when I took version 2 which narrowed the nerd evaluations to subjects, I did better, or worse…

 Looks as if I am not a dumb dork anyways. 🙂

UPDATE: May 12, 2015–this time I got 97 as a Nerd Score: All hail the monstrous nerd. You are by far the SUPREME NERD GOD!!!

Well…I don’t care. I guess that I AM a nerd.  Any nerdettes out there?

I went ahead and took the “advanced” nerd test:

For Dumb/Dork/Awkwardness:

98% scored higher,
2% scored the same, and
0% scored lower.

Does this mean I got a 2? ::counting on fingers::

From this time forward, you’ll hold the title:
Uber Cool Nerd King

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