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Investigating New Zealand

New Zealand, a small island located off the southwestern coast of Australia, is a country with a unique ecosystem. Even though it is small, it is home to many different geological features and an equally diverse wildlife.

Geographical Features

Up in northern New Zealand lie a few regional islands rich with volcanoes and other geothermal activity. Volcanoes are essentially enormous holes in the ground that dig deep within the earth's crust to where molten magma. Magma is rock once it has been melted and turned into a high viscosity liquid, and it occasionally rises, protruding through the hole and then hardening into solid rock upon touching the air. This constant expulsion and then hardening begins to form a mountain like mound on top of the hole, creating what most people know commonly as a volcano.

On the other end of the spectrum, located in the mid to southern region of the country one may find glaciers, large masses of ice that expand for miles and continue to creep and move as the ice grows. These huge chunks of ice can be miles thick and span across vast lands. The sheer cold that emanates from these things, cause the surrounding water to freeze and create a new layer of ice. Furthermore, these large masses of ice are actually moving across the land. Ice can be melted in one of two ways: The first method of inducing melting is by adding heat. The second way is by a large amount of pressure that causes the ice to melt even if it is still below freezing. The massive weight of the ice on top crushes down upon the ice on the bottom, and the intense pressure actually causes the ice to gradually melt. This in turn causes the ice to slowly slip and slide down the watery layers.

Wild Life

The country has more to offer tourists than geographical features. Its local animals, rare to some other countries, are free to roam about in their natural habitats. Locals have learned to live with the wildlife in coexistence so that while the wildlife can be enjoyed and observed, there must be strict regulations to protect them as well. New Zealand's wildlife is a curious thing; the variations in species are both natural and unnatural. The island plays host to many of the rare flightless birds such as penguins and kiwis. This is due to the nature of the ecosystem lacking many land based predators. Thus birds not needing to take flight in order to flee have naturally lost the ability. Small lizards, frogs and bats are also some of the native species that dwell within this country. However, that is not to say that those are the only species existing on this island. There are many types of animals ranging from everyday common mammals such as: dogs, rats, deer, rabbits and possums, and even fish that are somewhat common in dining such as salmon. Most of these animals along with several other domestic breeds were introduced as aliens to the ecosystem by European travelers. Due to the nature of the ecosystem and how delicate it can be, extremely strict laws have been implemented to control importing anything whether small pets or plants and fruits.

Human Inhabitants

Although abundant with wildlife, that is not to say that the cities are far and in between. In fact there are several locations, including the one pictured above that are densely populated with cities roads and other artificial locations. Although highly populated, the local people pay attention to the ecosystems, attempting to prevent people from accidentally causing harm to the now indigenous wildlife.

New Zealand is unique in many ways, and visiting a small area anywhere is not likely to give one a grasp of what it has to offer. This country proves to be an interesting place while always having new and completely different things to see. Its geography ranges to different ends of the spectrum, and its wildlife is equally diverse. This country requires more than just a telescope and camera from space orbital satellite to fully comprehend and appreciate.