What Is the Most Popular Animal in the World?

The kakapo, a large flightless bird, enjoys the distinction of the most popular animal in the world, according to Wildscreen Arkive. The kakapo, also called the owl parrot, lives only in New Zealand. It holds many records for size and status, making a name for itself as the largest and heaviest parrot on Earth and one of the most critically endangered.

Unlike other birds in their native tropical environments, kakapos never leave the ground. They resemble other parrots in appearance, with plush feathers, curved beaks and sharp talons. Although these parrots have wings, they never fly. Instead, they scuttle across forest floors and even climb trees, relying on their strong legs and opposing front and back toes for stability and strength. Kakapos distinguish themselves from other birds on their feeding and movement patterns. They classify as nocturnal, using the darkest hours for eating and mating. Kakapos exist on herbivorous diets. They eat berries, fruit, pollen, nuts and even bark from some trees. Kakapos vary their diets according to the seasons, and consume the leaves and fruits of more than 25 different plant species. In addition to their unique lifestyles, kakapos engage in unique mating rituals. Male kakapos attract female partners by singing elaborate songs, peacefully competing for mates on the quality and strength of their voices.