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indian parrot by TobyThomas2

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Parrots, also known as psittacines ( /ˈsɪtəsaɪnz/),[2][3] are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes,[4] found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots).[5] Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is found in South America and Australasia. Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. The plumage of cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length. The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young. Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, has diminished wild populations, with parrots being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.[6] Measures taken to conserve the habitats of some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less charismatic species living in the same ecosystems.[7] Contents [hide] 1 Taxono

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									Parrots, also known as psittacines ( /ˈ sɪ təsaɪ nz/),[2][3] are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera
that make up the order Psittaciformes,[4] found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is
subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and
the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots).[5] Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several
species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of
parrots is found in South America and Australasia.

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed
zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. The plumage of
cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their
heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order
in terms of length.

The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant
material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised
for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in
captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young.

Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability
of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping wild parrots for the
pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, has diminished wild
populations, with parrots being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.[6]
Measures taken to conserve the habitats of some high-profile charismatic species have also protected
many of the less charismatic species living in the same ecosystems.[7]

Contents [hide]

1 Taxonomy

1.1 Origins and evolution

1.2 Phylogeny

1.3 Systematics

1.4 Other lists

2 Morphology

3 Distribution and habitat

4 Behaviour

4.1 Diet

4.2 Breeding
4.3 Intelligence and learning

4.3.1 Sound imitation and speech

4.3.2 Cooperation

5 Relationship with humans

5.1 Pets

5.2 Zoos

5.3 Trade

5.4 Culture

5.5 Feral populations

5.6 Threats and conservation

6 See also

7 References

7.1 Notes

7.2 Cited texts

8 External links

[edit]Taxonomy



[edit]Origins and evolution




Blue-and-yellow Macaw eating a walnut held by a foot

Psittaciform diversity in South America and Australasia suggests that the order may have evolved in
Gondwanaland, centred in Australasia.[8] The scarcity of parrots in the fossil record, however, presents
difficulties in supporting the hypothesis.

A single 15 mm (0.6 in) fragment from a large lower bill (UCMP 143274), found in deposits from the
Lance Creek Formation in Niobrara County, Wyoming, had been thought to be the oldest parrot fossil
and is presumed to have originated from the Late Cretaceous period, which makes it about 70 Ma
(million years ago).[9] Other studies suggest that this fossil is not from a bird, but from a caenagnathid
theropod or a non-avian dinosaur with a birdlike beak.[10][11]

It is now generally assumed that the Psittaciformes, or their common ancestors with several related bird
orders, were present somewhere in the world around the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (K-Pg
extinction), some 65 Ma If so, they probably had not evolved their morphological autapomorphies yet,
but were generalised arboreal birds, roughly similar (though not necessarily closely related) to today's
potoos or frogmouths (see also Palaeopsittacus below). Though these birds (Cypselomorphae) are a
phylogenetically challenging group, they seem at least closer to the parrot ancestors than, for example,
the modern aquatic birds (Aequornithes). The combined evidence supported the hypothesis of
Psittaciformes being "near passerines", i.e. the mostly land-living birds that emerged in close proximity
to the K-Pg extinction. Indeed, analysis of transposable element insertions observed in the genomes of
passerines and parrots, but not in the genomes of other birds, provides strong evidence that parrots are
the sister group of passerines, forming a clade Psittacopasserae, to the exclusion of the next closest
group, the falcons.[12]

Europe is the origin of the first presumed parrot fossils, which date from about 50 Ma. The climate there
and then was tropical, consistent with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Initially, a neoavian
named Mopsitta tanta, uncovered in Denmark's Early Eocene Fur Formation and dated to 54 Ma, was
assigned to the Psittaciformes; it was described from a single humerus.[13] However, the rather
nondescript bone is not unequivocally psittaciform, and more recently it was pointed out that it may
rather belong to a newly-discovered ibis of the genus Rhynchaeites, whose fossil legs were found in the
same deposits.




The feathers of a Yellow-headed Amazon. The blue component of the green colouration is due to light
scattering while the yellow is due to pigment.

Fossils assignable to Psittaciformes (though not yet the present-day parrots) date from slightly later in
the Eocene, starting around 50 Ma. Several fairly complete skeletons of parrot-like birds have been
found in England and Germany.[14] Some uncertainty remains, but on the whole it seems more likely
that these are not direct ancestors of the modern parrots, but related lineages which evolved in the
Northern Hemisphere and have since died out. These are probably not "missing links" between ancestral
and modern parrots, but rather psittaciform lineages that evolved parallel to true parrots and cockatoos
and had their own peculiar autapomorphies:

Psittacopes (Early/Middle Eocene of Geiseltal, Germany)—basal?

Serudaptus—pseudasturid or psittacid?

Pseudasturidae (Halcyornithidae may be correct name)
Pseudasturides – formerly Pseudastur

Vastanavidae

Vastanavis (Early Eocene of Vastan, India)

Quercypsittidae

Quercypsitta (Late Eocene)

The earliest records of modern parrots date to about 23–20 Ma and are also from Europe. Subsequently,
the fossil record—again mainly from Europe—consists of bones clearly recognisable as belonging to
parrots of modern type. The Southern Hemisphere does not have nearly as rich a fossil record for the
period of interest as the Northern, and contains no known parrot-like remains earlier than the early to
middle Miocene, around 20 Ma. At this point, however, is found the first unambiguous parrot fossil (as
opposed to a parrot-like one), an upper jaw which is indistinguishable from that of modern cockatoos. A
few modern genera are tentatively dated to a Miocene origin, but their unequivocal record stretches
back only some 5 million years (see genus articles for more).




Fossil skull of a presumed parrot relative from the Eocene Green River Formation in Wyoming.

The named fossil genera of parrots are probably all in the Psittacidae or close to its ancestry:

Archaeopsittacus (Late Oligocene/Early Miocene)

Xenopsitta (Early Miocene of Czechia)

Psittacidae gen. et spp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago, New Zealand)—several species

Bavaripsitta (Middle Miocene of Steinberg, Germany)

Psittacidae gen. et sp. indet. (Middle Miocene of France)—erroneously placed in Pararallus dispar,
includes "Psittacus" lartetianus

Some Paleogene fossils are not unequivocally accepted to be of psittaciforms:

Palaeopsittacus (Early – Middle Eocene of NW Europe)—caprimulgiform (podargid?) or quercypsittid?

"Precursor" (Early Eocene)—part of this apparent chimera seems to be of a pseudasturid or psittacid

Pulchrapollia (Early Eocene)—includes "Primobucco" olsoni—psittaciform (pseudasturid or psittacid)?
Molecular studies suggest that parrots evolved approximately 59 Ma (range 66–51 Ma) in
Gondwanaland.[15] The three major clades of Neotropical parrots originated about 50 Ma (range 57–41
Ma).

[edit]Phylogeny



Parrots




Psittacidae




Cacatuidae




Strigopidae




Other birds



Phylogenetic relationship between the three parrot families based on the available literature[8][16][17]

Parrot phylogeny is in flux. The classifications as presented reflect the current status, which is disputed
and therefore subject to change when new studies resolve some open questions. For that reason, this
classification should be treated as preliminary. The Psittaciformes comprise three main lineages:
Strigopidae, Psittacidae and Cacatuidae.
The Strigopidae were considered part of the Psittacidae, but recent studies place this group of New
Zealand species at the base of the parrot tree next to the remaining members of the Psittacidae as well
as all members of the Cacatuidae.[8][16][17]

The Cacatuidae are quite distinct, having a movable head crest, a different arrangement of the carotid
arteries, a gall bladder, differences in the skull bones, and lack the Dyck texture feathers which, in the
Psittacidae, scatters light in such a way as to produce the vibrant colours of so many parrots. Colourful
feathers with high levels of psittacofulvin resist the feather-degrading bacterium Bacillus licheniformis
better than white ones.[18]

Lorikeets were previously regarded as a third family, Loriidae,[19] but studies using large amounts of
DNA data place the group in the middle of the Psittacidae family, with as closest relatives the fig parrots
(two of the three genera of the tribe Cyclopsittacini, subfamily Psittacinae) and the Budgerigar (tribe
Melopsittacini, subfamily Platycercinae).[8][16][17]

[edit]Systematics

The following classification is based on the most recent proposal, which in turn is based on all the
relevant recent findings.[5][8][16][20][21][22][23]

								
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