Today's featured article
The Cuban macaw (Ara tricolor), a species of parrot, became extinct in the late 19th century. Native to the main island of Cuba and the nearby Isla de la Juventud, this macaw had some similarities to the scarlet macaw. No modern skeletons are known, but a few subfossil remains have been found on Cuba. At about 45–50 centimetres (18–20 in) long, it was one of the smallest macaws. It had a red, orange, yellow, and white head, and a red, orange, green, brown, and blue body. It was reported to nest in hollow trees, live in pairs or families, and feed on seeds and fruits. It was mainly seen in the vast Zapata Swamp, where it inhabited open terrain with scattered trees. The Cuban macaw was traded and hunted by Amerindians, and by Europeans after their arrival in the 15th century. The birds were brought to Europe as cagebirds, and 19 museum skins exist today. The species had become rare by the mid-19th century due to hunting, trade, and habitat destruction. (Full article...)
In the news
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- Scientists announce that Voyager 2 has left the heliosphere and entered interstellar space, becoming the second artificial object to do so.