Monday, 16 October 2017

Not an Ex-Parrot

I always enjoy stories of supposedly extinct species being rediscovered – partly because they are in themselves good news, and partly because they suggest we are often rather too liberal in our diagnoses of extinction. The world is bigger – and stranger – than we imagine (stranger than we can imagine, according to Arthur Eddington), and we often underestimate the resilience and staying power of nature.
  Here is the latest news of an Australian bird that was thought to have been extinct for a century – the mysterious Night Parrot. It's hardly surprising that this parrot should have disappeared from view for so long: not only is it nocturnal, it is also a very reluctant flier that prefers to keep to the ground, skulking in thickets of Spinifex grass. At least its call has now been identified, which should make matters easier...
 By the way, the piece I've linked to contains the cherishable phrase 'Spinifex knoll'. Not one you often come across.

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