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Quetzel
by Aniket Kumar
  • The X-ray fish is almost transparent.
    True to its name, you can actually see inside its body.
  • A butterfly has its sense of taste on its feet.
  • Dolphins are amazing acrobats. Many members of the family can leap as high as seven meters into the air, and they often turn somersaults before re-entering the water. Spinner dolphins live up to their name by rotating their body as many as seven times in a single leap.
  • Although crocodiles look ungainly on land, they can sprint at 10 miles per hour, as fast as a human!
Funda of Fundas

Apart from having a funny name, the resplendent Quetzal is also a rather strange-looking bird! They live in tropical forests in Central America, from Southern Mexico to Panama. They are solitary birds, about the same size as a pigeon, and eat fruit, insects, frogs, lizards and snails.

The word resplendent means bright or dazzling and the plumage of the male birds is certainly that. To attract females, they have shimmering emerald green feathers, a bright red breast and a crest of golden green feathers. During the breeding season they grow a long 'train' of two thin feathers. The train can be almost a meter long, so the poor birds have to take off backwards to make sure they don't damage it! The males also perform courtship dances and sing serenades, and their mating call sounds a bit like 'very-good very-good'.

Female Quetzals are similar in color to the males, but not as bright and they don't have trains. Both have powerful beaks, which they use to make nesting holes in trees where the female lays two or three eggs. The male takes turns at incubating the eggs, curling his long tail feathers over his head so they stick out of the nest hole.

The Quetzal's name comes from the ancient people of Central America. The Mayans and Aztecs used the long feathers in their ceremonies, and only nobles and priests were allowed to wear them. The Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, and can be seen on flags and postage stamps. Their currency, the Quetzal, is even named after this amazing bird.

by Aniket Kumar (11 years)

29-Jan-2006
 
Views: 7944
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