The kiwifruit is technically a berry that's born from a specific type of woody vine. It's known for its fibrous texture and sweet, nectar-like inside which can be appealing to animals and insects. As a fruit that's native to specific climates, there aren't a lot of animals who consume kiwis naturally, though a good number still do exist.
According to the Smithsonian Institute, the five different species of kiwi birds native to New Zealand are named for their affinity for the kiwifruit and also because some species resemble the fruit itself. An endangered species, only approximately 70,000 are known to be alive today. In addition to the kiwifruit, kiwi birds are omnivorous and also ingest insects and worms found in the natural environment of New Zealand. They're a nocturnal animal and have a naturally modified beak, with nostrils at the tip, which helps it sniff out food and prey.
Sugar gliders are a small marsupial native to Australia and Tasmania, and have gained popularity among pet owners due to their personalities, small size and unique characteristics. Nocturnal, sugar gliders have squirrel-like bodies with five-digit claws and expandable "wings", allowing them to glide in the air from branch to branch. In addition to kiwifruits, sugar gliders also consume nuts, berries and insects.
Koalas are another marsupial native to Australia and New Zealand who are known to munch on kiwi occasionally. Although koalas primarily eat eucalyptus leaves, they'll also eat kiwifruits and other naturally occurring fruits, berries, nuts and leaves.
While the kiwi is most famously renowned for its origin Down Under, it also grows naturally in some parts of southern China and southeast Asia. Many different species of monkeys are known to consume kiwi fruits. In China specifically, kiwi fruits are called "monkey peaches" because they're so frequently eaten by the indigenous monkeys and resemble the size of a small peach.
Peter Grant has been a professional writer since 1998 and software engineer since 1995. He has contributed to academic papers, open-source software projects and technical documentation across several industries. Grant holds a master's degree in public policy from National University.