The archipelago of Aotearoa lies about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) to the southeast of the Australian mainland. Together the two major islands (North Island and South Island) are more than 26,000 square kilometers (103,500 square miles) long, and so are strictly too large to be considered islands yet too small to be true continents. Geologically they contain elements of both. They consist of pieces that were once part of the main southern supercontinent of Gondwana, yet much of their area consists of new material produced by volcanic action since Gondwana broke up.
With such a turbulent history and such an isolated position it is hardly surprising that the animal life found here is unique. Very little remains of the fauna that existed when these fragments were part of the great supercontinent of Pangaea. A notable exception is an order of small, primitive reptiles, known as the rhynchocephalians, that lives near the northern coasts of the North Island and South Island and has remained unchanged since Middle Triassic times. The bulk of the animal life consists of birds and pterosaurs, many of the latter flightless. The local ground-dwelling pterosaurs evolved either from flightless pterosaurs that were already on the continental fragments when they broke away, and so may be related to the flightless pterosaur of the African grasslands (including the lank and the flarp), or from more conventional flying pterosaurs that flew to the islands and then abandoned their powers of flight.The kloon, about 70 centimeters (2 1/3 feet) long, is a typical terrestrial pterosaur of these islands. It has no wings, or indeed any trace of the forelimbs that it must have possessed at one time. It is covered in thick, shaggy, hair-like pycnofibres and lives secretively in the undergrowth of the forests, eating low-growing plants.