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For other uses, see Quetzal (disambiguation). For the best-known species in this group, see Resplendent Quetzal.
Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trogoniformes
Family: Trogonidae
Genus: Pharomachrus
de la Llave. 1832
Euptilotis
Gould, 1858

Species

P. antisianus
P. auriceps
P. fulgidus
P. mocinno
P. pavoninus
E. neoxenus

Quetzals are strikingly colored birds in the trogon family (Trogonidae). They are found in forests and woodlands, especially in humid highlands, with the five species from the genus Pharomachrus being exclusively Neotropical, while the single Euptilotis species is almost entirely restricted to western Mexico (marginally also in adjacent U.S. states). They have iridescent green or golden-green wing coverts, back, chest and head, and a red belly. They are strongly sexually dimorphic, and parts of the females' plumage is brown or gray. These largely solitary birds feed on fruits, berries, insects and small vertebrates (e.g. frogs), and can, despite the bright plumage, be surprisingly difficult to see in their wooded habitats.

Contents

Etymology

The name "quetzal" is from Nahuatl quetzalli, "large brilliant tail feather" (American Heritage Dictionary) or "tail coverts of the quetzal" (Merriam–Webster's Collegiate Dictionary), from the Nahuatl root quetz = "stand up" used to refer to an upstanding plume of feathers.

The word "quetzal" was originally used for just the Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno, the famous long-tailed quetzal of Central America, which is the national bird of Guatemala. It still often refers to that bird specifically but now also names all the species of the genera Pharomachrus and Euptilotis.

Pharomachrus is from ancient Greek pharos, "mantle", and makros, "long", referring to the wing and tail coverts of the Resplendent Quetzal (the second h is unexplained).

Species

Euptilotis neoxenus is related to Pharomachrus and is called the Eared Quetzal by some authorities, such as the American Ornithologists' Union, but the Eared Trogon by others.

See also

References

  • Restall, R. L., C. Rodner, & M. Lentino (2006). Birds of Northern South America. Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-7243-9 (vol. 1). ISBN 0-7136-7242-0 (vol. 2).
  • Ridgely, R. S., & J. A. Gwynne, Jr. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. 2nd edition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08529-3

External links

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Simple English

Quetzals
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trogoniformes
Family: Trogonidae
Genus: Pharomachrus
de la Llave. 1832
Euptilotis
Gould, 1858

Quetzals are brightly colored birds in the Americas. The word "quetzal" was first used to mean the Resplendent Quetzal, a famous long-tailed quetzal that lives in Central America. The Resplendent Quetzal is the national symbol of Guatemala.

In Aztec times, the quetzal was worshiped as the god of the air. Its long tail feathers, which can grow up to 2 ft (60 cm) long, were highly prized for making into costume and head-dresses.[1]

References

  1. Ganeri, Anita (2000). Jungle Animals Over 100 Questions and Answers to Things You Want to Know. Dubai, U.A.E. ISBN 0-75254-909-X. 



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