The Goliah Aratoo

March 2006
Illustrated London Reading Book;3/1/2006, p7
Classic Book
This article gives representation of a parrot which was brought alive to this country by the captain of a South-seaman (the Alert), who obtained it from a Chinese vessel from the Island of Papua, to whom the captain of the Alert rendered valuable assistance when in a state of distress. In size this bird is one of the largest of the parrot tribe, being superior to the great red Mexican Macaw. The whole plumage is black, glossed with a greenish grey; the head is ornamented with a large crest of long pendulous feathers; the orbits of the eyes and cheeks are of a deep rose-colour; the bill is of great size and will crack the hardest fruit stones; the bird does not crush and swallow it in large fragments, but scrapes it with the lower mandible to the finest pulp, thus differing from other parrots in the mode of taking food. In the form of its tongue it differs also from other birds of the kind. A French naturalist read a memoir on this organ before the Academy of Sciences at Paris, in which he aptly compared it, in its uses, to the trunk of an elephant. In its manners it is gentle and familiar, and when approached raises a cry which may be compared to a hoarse croaking. In its gait it resembles the rook, and walks much better than most of the climbing family.


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