From today's featured article
The Cuban macaw (Ara tricolor), a species of parrot, became extinct in the late 19th century. Native to the main island of Cuba and the nearby Isla de la Juventud, this macaw had some similarities to the scarlet macaw. No modern skeletons are known, but a few subfossil remains have been found on Cuba. At about 45–50 centimetres (18–20 in) long, it was one of the smallest macaws. It had a red, orange, yellow, and white head, and a red, orange, green, brown, and blue body. It was reported to nest in hollow trees, live in pairs or families, and feed on seeds and fruits. It was mainly seen in the vast Zapata Swamp, where it inhabited open terrain with scattered trees. The Cuban macaw was traded and hunted by Amerindians, and by Europeans after their arrival in the 15th century. The birds were brought to Europe as cagebirds, and 19 museum skins exist today. The species had become rare by the mid-19th century due to hunting, trade, and habitat destruction. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave contains what is believed to be the world's oldest figurative art (pictured)?
- ... that Max Rose, the U.S. Representative-elect for Staten Island and south Brooklyn, is the recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart?
- ... that Lorik Cana is the most capped Albanian footballer of all time?
- ... that in 1887, Temulji Bhicaji Nariman co-founded one of the first maternity hospitals in Bombay?
- ... that at the Battle of Damme, a smaller English fleet captured 300 French ships and burned another 100?
- ... that in the late 19th century, Australian author Louis Becke's infant daughter went on a trip to Tamakautoga without him?
- ... that Tom Adeyemi turned down a place at Cambridge University in order to become a professional footballer?
- ... that Escher sentences such as "More people have been to Russia than I have" may initially be perceived as meaningful despite being ungrammatical nonsense?
In the news
- The Balangiga bells, taken by US Army soldiers from the Philippines in 1901 as war trophies, are repatriated.
- Nine people are killed when a high-speed train collides with a locomotive in Ankara, Turkey.
- Two days after a shooting at the Christmas market (pictured in 2014) in Strasbourg, France, in which five people died, French police kill the suspected perpetrator.
- Scientists announce that Voyager 2 has left the heliosphere and entered interstellar space, becoming the second artificial object to do so.
On this day
- 942 – William Longsword of Normandy was ambushed and assassinated by supporters of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders, while the two were at a peace conference to settle their differences.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Union General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
- 1918 – About 1,000 demonstrators marched (pictured) on Government House in Darwin, Australia, where they burnt an effigy of Administrator John Gilruth and demanded his resignation.
- 1948 – The Finnish Security Police was established to remove communist leadership from its predecessor, the State Police.
- 1970 – Soldiers fired at workers emerging from trains in Gdynia, Poland, beginning the government's brutal crackdown on mass anti-communist protests across the country.