INTERESTING PARROT BODY FACTS
Always Open The Palm cockatoo beak never completely closes because of its unique anatomy. This allows the bird to open very hard nuts. The male Palm will break off a branch and one of the highlights of anyone’s travel to see wild Palm Cockatoos is to watch and hear a demonstrative cockatoo sit atop a snag tree in full display and banging a stick or rock on the hollow trunk. The sound can carry a long way.
Parrot EyesHave you ever noticed that the eyes of some parrots are proportionately smaller than others? It is a biological principle that most animals that live in darker areas have larger eyes to let in more light. Parrots with proportionately larger eyes usually live in habitats with dense foliage and parrots with smaller eyes usually evolved in areas where there is less protection from the bright sun.
Fragile Facial BoneThe zygomatic arch of the Hyacinth Macaw consists of three fused bones no wider and not much longer than a Q-tip. Fragile as they are if too much pressure is put on this area, the operation movement of this arch provides the leverage for the macaw to crack hard-shelled nuts. In the drawing, the zygomatic arch is the long angled bone in the center of the skull. The zygomatic arch is also fragile and can be broken with too much pressure in other parrots.
Two-tone TonguesBlue-throated Macaws have a two-tone tongue with a sharp division between the dark tip and the light base. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The Palm cockatoo also has a two-tone beak.
Herbst's Corpuscles I doubt that any parrots actually sleep soundly during the night. Since parrots are prey animals in the wild, I am sure that they have to be somewhat alert even in the dark since there are night predators such as owls and snakes. One of a parrot’s night defenses is encapsulated nerve bundles in their legs and hips. These are called Herbst's corpuscles and they act as vibration detectors. They are important at night because these nerve endings can send a message to the parrot's brain that a snake is crawling up the tree where they are roosting. These vibration detectors may actually be responsible for night frights in some companion parrot family birds. These aren't the only nerve bundles in the parrot's body. They also have them on the tip of their beak, tongue and other areas of their bodies.
Each One DifferentEach toe on your parrot's foot has a different number of bones in it.
Ever Heard of Cloacal Sipping?When a baby parrot is in the nest or aviary, the gland on the side of the cloaca (the 'vat' at the end of the digestive system) called the Bursa of Fabricius actually “sips” in aspects of the environment to assist the development of the immune system. If the baby’s area is filthy, the immune system may be overwhelmed and the baby will most likely become ill. On the other hand, if the baby’s area is compulsively clean, the immune system will not develop properly because there is nothing to gauge in the development of the immune system. It is essential to establish a balance to create a healthy parrot. Once the baby's immune system has developed, the Bursa of Fabricius dissolves into the cloacal wall.