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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Parrot

There are 402 species of parrots, including cockatoos, lovebirds and budgerigars. Of the known parrot species, 387 are extant; the remaining extinct species all went extinct after 1500 AD.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH HUMANS

The parrot has been a popular pet in the Western world for more than two millennia. Alexander the Great was the first to introduce the bird. He brought it home from India, as a gift for his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle.

Parrots have featured in human writings and media for thousands of years. From Aesop's fable The parrot and the cat to Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch and movies such as Rio.


ANATOMY 

Like most other birds, parrots have four toes per foot. But instead of the usual three-in-front-one-behind arrangement, parrot toes are configured for maximum grip: two in front and two behind, like two pairs of opposable thumbs.

The tiny buff-faced pygmy weighs a mere ounce and is about the size of an adult human’s finger.

buff-faced pygmy parrot 

The world’s longest parrot is the hyacinth macaw, checking in at 100 cm (3.3 ft)  from tip to tail.

BEHAVIOR

The Australian parrot Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus is commonly known as 28 because, spoken in an Antipodean accent, its call — ‘wenniate’ — sounds like the number.

The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometimes arthropods and other animal prey.


In captivity parrots can live to at least 60 years.

INTELLIGENCE

A parrot's vocabulary is generally no more than twenty words.

African greys associate words with meanings and have a gasp of shape, color and number.

African greys are the best mimics of all parrots. They will imitate doorbells, microwave beeps, telephones and even a smoker's cough,


The first and only non-human animal to ask an existential question was a parrot named Alex. He asked what color he was, and learned that it was "grey". Apes who have been trained to use sign-language have so far failed to ever ask a single question.

The Korea Central Zoo in North Korea is home to a Parrot than can squawk 'Long live the Great Leader, Comrade Kim Il-sung' in English.

FAMOUS PARROTS

In 1845, President Andrew Jackson's pet African grey, called Poll, was removed from his funeral for swearing.

Queen Victoria had a parrot called Coco which was taught to sing "God Save The Queen."

A certain parrot was a regular of the Cheshire Cheese pub just off Fleet Street in London at the time of World War I. On Armistice night it repeated some 400 times its trick of imitating the pop of a champagne cork, before collapsing from temporary exhaustion.

The world's oldest ever parrot, Jimmy, died in England on January 5, 1975 at the age of 104.

The oldest living parrot is thought to be Poncho, a green-winged macaw who turned 90 in October 2015 and who retired to Shrewsbury, England after a career in Hollywood. She celebrated with a walnut-stuffed cake.


Puck, a cheery blue parakeet, landed in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records for his vocabulary skills, with a recognized set of 1,728 words.

Cookie (June 30, 1933 – August 27, 2016) was a male Major Mitchell's cockatoo residing at Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago, United States. He was believed to be the oldest member of his species alive in captivity, at the age of 82 in June 2015, having significantly exceeded the average lifespan for his kind. Cookie was one of the longest-lived birds on record and was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living parrot in the world


FUN PARROT FACTS

There are an estimated 550 wild parrots living in New York City that were accidentally released from a shipment at JFK airport in the late 1960s.

Veterinarians say obesity is the most common health problem they see in pet parrots today.

Sources Historyworld.net, Smithsonianmag.com, Daily Mail

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