"And flight, of course, is a means of escape. It's a survival mechanism, and one that the birds of New Zealand found they didn't especially need. Flying is hard work and consumes a lot of energy.
"...So when eventually European settlers arrived and brought cats and dogs and stoats and possums with them, a lot of New Zealand's flightless birds were suddenly waddling for their lives. The kiwis, the takahes — and the old night parrots, the kakapos.
"Of these, the kakapo is the strangest. Well, I suppose the penguin is a pretty peculiar creature when you think about it, but it's quite a robust kind of peculiarness, and the birds is perfectly well adapted to the world in which it finds itself, in a way that the kakapo is not. The kakapo is a bird out of time. If you look one in its large, round, greeny-brown face, it has a loon of serenely innocent incomprehension that makes you want to hug it and tell it that everything will be all right, though you know that it probably will not be." — Last Chance to See, Ch. 4, "Heartbeats In the Night"
"Instead of hearing the roar of each individual ship's propeller, what we heard was a sustained shrieking blast of pure white noise, in which nothing could be distinguished at all.
"...I realized with the vividness of shock that somewhere beneath or around me there were intelligent animals whose perceptive universe we could scarcely begin to imagine, living in a seething, poisoned, deafening world, and that their lives were probably passed in continual bewilderment, hunger, pain, and fear." — Last Chance to See, Ch. 5, "Blind Panic"
My copy of it is worn — many of my Douglas Adams books are worn — from many readings. I revisit Douglas Adams a lot. I have the book handy for the next revisit, and for today, I wanted to remember him by remembering this book.