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Episode 539             Episode 541
Episode 540

Mascarene parrot
Sat, 2018-Oct-27 00:42 UTC
Length - 2:32

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 27 October 2018 is Mascarene parrot.

The Mascarene parrot or mascarin (Mascarinus mascarin) is an extinct species of parrot that was endemic to the Mascarene island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean. The taxonomic relationships of this species have been subject to debate; it has historically been grouped with either the Psittaculini parrots or the vasa parrots, with the latest genetic study favouring the former group.

The Mascarene parrot was 35 cm (14 in) in length with a large red bill and long, rounded tail feathers. Its legs were red, and it had naked red skin around the eyes and nostrils. It had a black facial mask and partially white tail feathers, but the colouration of the body, wings and head is unclear. Descriptions from life indicate the body and head were ash grey, and the white part of the tail had two dark central feathers. In contrast, descriptions based on stuffed specimens state that the body was brown and the head bluish but do not mention the dark central tail feathers. This may be due to the specimens having changed colour as a result of aging and exposure to light, as well as other forms of damage. Very little is known about the bird in life.

The Mascarene parrot was first mentioned in 1674, and live specimens were later brought to Europe, where they lived in captivity. The species was scientifically described in 1771. Only two stuffed specimens exist today, in Paris and Vienna. The date and cause of extinction for the Mascarene parrot is unclear. The latest account from 1834 is considered dubious, so it is probable that the species became extinct prior to 1800, and may have become extinct in the wild even earlier.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:42 UTC on Saturday, 27 October 2018.

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