Frigatebirds are a family—Fregatidae—of seabirds found across all
tropical and subtropical oceans. The five living species are classified
in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long,
deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Their pointed wings can span
up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), with the largest wing area to body weight
ratio of any bird. Females have white bellies and males have a
distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding
season. Able to soar for days on wind currents, frigatebirds spend most
of the day in flight hunting for food. They mainly eat fish and squid
that have been chased to the surface by large predators such as tuna.
Frigatebirds are kleptoparasites as they occasionally rob other seabirds
for food, and are known to snatch seabird chicks from the nest. Three of
the five species are widespread, while two are endangered and restrict
their breeding habitat to one small island each. The oldest fossils date
to the early Eocene, around 50 million years ago; classified in the
genus Limnofregata, those birds had shorter less-hooked bills and longer
legs, and lived in a freshwater environment.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frigatebird>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, and Danish King Christian IV
signed the Treaty of Lübeck to end Danish intervention in the Thirty
A riot broke out in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, over
high unemployment and rising grain costs, spreading to Ely the next day.
US Congressman Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner
with a cane for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who
sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas.
Ethnic rioting broke out in Ceylon, targeted mostly at the
minority Sri Lankan Tamils, resulting in up to 300 deaths over the next
Pac-Man, an arcade game that became an icon of 1980s popular
culture, made its debut in Japan.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(paleontology) A stage in the development of a trilobite where the
creature has not yet developed articulated segments.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The ancient intuition that all matter, all “reality,” is
energy, that all phenomena, including time and space, are mere
crystallizations of mind, is an idea with which few physicists have
quarreled since the theory of relativity first called into question the
separate identities of energy and matter. Today most scientists would
agree with the ancient Hindus that nothing exists or is destroyed,
things merely change shape or form; that matter is insubstantial in
origin, a temporary aggregate of the pervasive energy that animates the
electron. … The cosmic radiation that is thought to come from the
explosion of creation strikes the earth with equal intensity from all
directions, which suggests either that the earth is at the center of the
universe, as in our innocence we once supposed, or that the known
universe has no center. Such an idea holds no terror for mystics; in the
mystical vision, the universe, its center, and its origins are
simultaneous, all around us, all within us, and all One.
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