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Resplendent Quetzal

(Pharomachrus mocinno)


Category: Birds



These small, colorful birds, with their iridescent green and red plumage are not only admired for their beauty, but are also an important part of Mesoamerican mythology. Because it was considered divine, it was a crime to kill a quetzal; to obtain its precious tail feathers for use in ritual, it was captured and released after plucking the desired feathers.




Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Trogoniformes
Family - Trogonidae
Genus - Pharomachrus
Species - P. mocinno

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

“Bird Brain” should be taken as a compliment.

Calling someone a “bird brain” is an insult, but perhaps it should be reconsidered given how many birds display high intelligence and adaptability. For just a few examples, the kea from New Zealand can solve logical puzzles and work with other birds in order to acquire food, observations of Cormorants used by Chinese fishermen indicate that the birds can count up to seven, and many species of birds use simple tools such as sticks to help them acquire food or other items that catch their fancy! There is also a cockatoo named Snowball who can dance to the beat of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” though whether this indicates intelligence or not may be a matter of debate or personal taste.

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