The broad-billed parrot is a large extinct parrot in the family
Psittaculidae that was endemic to the island of Mauritius in the Indian
Ocean. It has been classified as a member of the tribe Psittaculini, and
may have been closely related to the Rodrigues parrot. The broad-billed
parrot had a large head in proportion to its body, a distinct crest of
feathers on the front of the head, and a very large beak that would have
enabled it to crack hard seeds. Subfossil bones indicate that the
species exhibited greater sexual dimorphism in overall size and head
size than any living parrot. A contemporary description indicates that
it had a blue head, a greyish or blackish body, and perhaps a red beak.
The broad-billed parrot was first referred to as the "Indian raven" in
Dutch ships' journals from 1598 onwards. It was first scientifically
described from a subfossil mandible in 1866, but this was not linked to
the few brief contemporary descriptions until the rediscovery of a
detailed 1601 sketch (pictured). The bird became extinct in the 17th
century owing to a combination of deforestation, predation by introduced
invasive species, and probably also because of hunting.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad-billed_parrot>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Emperor Xuanzong fled the Tang capital Chang'an as An Lushan's
forces advance toward the city during the An Lushan Rebellion.
The Priestley Riots began, in which Joseph Priestley and other
religious Dissenters were driven out of Birmingham, England.
A seven-man team made the first ascent of the Matterhorn,
marking the end of the golden age of alpinism.
English primatologist Jane Goodall arrived in Gombe Stream
Chimpanzee Reserve, Tanganyika, to begin her groundbreaking study of the
social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.
Over 100 mm (3.9 in) of rain fell in a two-and-a-half-hour
period in Montreal, causing severe flooding and over CA$220 million in
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Very unlucky; ill-fated.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are
unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic
creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an
umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and
degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his
work was to the glory of God... The ability to create was a gift. In
such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility.
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