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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Parrots: exceptionally intelligent birds

  • All parrots’ eggs are pure white.
  • Parrots don’t have vocal cords, so they actually “trumpet” the sound by pushing air out of their trachea.
  • Wild parrots do not learn to talk, but the African Grey is the easiest to teach.
  • Parrots, when not nesting, live in groups known as flocks and are prone to squawking and screaming.
  • Parrots are zygodactyls i.e. they have four toes on each foot.
  • Most of the parrots build their nests in holes in trees, termite mounts, rock cavities or ground tunnels. Only a few build stick nests.
  • The vocalizations of some parrots can be heard for up to 1 mile.
  • While eating, parrots hold their food in one of their feet, which can be either left or right, making parrots left as well as right handed.
  • Parrots have a thick muscular tongue that helps them eat fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, and pollen.
  • Chocolate is poisonous to the Parrots.
  • The Owl Parrot is a bird that cannot fly.
  • Parrots are an endangered species.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Neognathae
Order: Psittaciformes

Parrots are fine-looking birds, mainly found inhabiting tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Grouped into two families, Psittacidae (true parrots) and Cacatuidae (cockatoos), they include as many as 350 species within their order. A parrot can be described as a bird with a strong curved beak, erect carriage, strong legs and clawed zygodactyl feet. Parrots can control the pitch of the sound by manipulating the shape and depth of the trachea. Experts say that when parrots talk, they are actually making variations on whistling.
Most parrot fossils were excavated in Europe. The earliest dates back to the Eocene, and are 50 million years old. Most of the complete skeletons were found in Germany and England. These birds are considered the great “parrot ancestors.” However, fossils of modern parrots—with the same bone structure and appearance as the ones we see today, are about 23 million years old.

There are actually two major groups of parrots: the psittacidae, and the cacutaidae. The latter has a movable head crest while the psittacidae have brighter, more vibrant colors. There are also enormous skeletal differences.
Some parrots are in danger of extinction. This includes the Spixs Macaw, of which only 7 survive in captivity. Naturalists once thought they had completely disappeared from the wild, but one was seen spotted flying in the South American rainforest. Breeding efforts have been stepped out to increase the parrots’ numbers.


Great Parrot Talent:

3 comments:

ColdRicePudding said...

Hey nice site, I have a site where I have a lot of animal facts and trivia, you might find it inspiring.

http://funky-facts.blogspot.com

val patrick said...

these birds are truly brilliant...
they are so intelligent and nice...

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cat behaviour
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Hamster-Club.com said...

Love your blog, animals are all cute.

Regards
Nadia Vella
http://www.hamster-club.com
http://www.thehamsterbook.com

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