Dissection of a paroquet [parakeet] communicated by Richard Waller

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                                read Dec:5.88. Observations 
III The Dissection of a Parroquett made <s>by Mr Ric: Waller 
F.R.S.<\s> & communicated to ye Royal Society by Mr Ric Waller <s>F.R.S.<\s>
There is not possibly a greater variety of species than in ye Parrot kind 
whether wee consider the Country size or colour in which last particular no bird 
prides in so great a diversity, luxuriant nature painting him with all ye silken 
colours of Plants and flowers, and that in their greatest lustre and perfectio 
<u>Johnston <\u> treating of these birds says ye curious have observed above 100 sorts of 
them and <u>Margravins <\u> in his History of <u>Brazile <\u> enumerates several, his 
sixth species of Paroquetts which he calls <u>Tujete <\u> comeing very near our 
subject. but the true description as I take it of this Bird is given by <u>Johnston<\u>
in his <u>Mantissa <\u> to ye History of Birds cap 4. p.156. which being long I forbear 
to <s>repeate <\s> recite, the bird he says was brought by the Dutch seamen out of 
<u>AEthiopia<\u> and Places near <u>Manicongo <\u>.
Having kept some of these birds and one of them dying; in ye opening thereof 
I tooke notice of some few particulars which I have made bold to present 
this honorable assembly with.
1. First to give a short description thereof. Its size is between a sparrow and 
Blackbird with a short neck, black Eyes, a crooked scarlet bill, greyish legs and 
feet with Toes two before & two behind like ye Parrot, yet he never stands
on one foot to eat with ye other, as Parrots do. when he stands still on ye 
Perch his breast and belly shew of a curious light green his back and the 
feathers of his wings are somewhat darker on his pinnions are some 
short blew feathers as like wise a pretty many on his rump. his bill is 
encompassed up to ye Eyes with a broad beautifull scarlet Circle reaching 
also down to his throat this place in ye hen is of a paler orange colour 
wherein is ye only <s>visible <\s> observable difference. The feathers of ye Taile (which as in
all small Parroquets is no longer than ye wings) are not to bee seen but 
when he flutters or spreads it. they are about 2 inches long, near ye quill 
of a lemmon colour inclineing to a green, next that of a scarlet for a pretty 
breadth then a narrow thread of green on some of them, after that a 
black and last of all ending in a light green. It were not an unworthy 
curiosity to examine ye colours of ye feathers of Birds and how the same 
individual branch of ye stemm of a feather as here comes to be tinged with such 
diversity of colours. but that by the by.
2. Having opened the <u>Thorax <\u> and <u>Abdomen <\u> (if I may so call them) by 
blowing into ye <u>Aspera arteria <\u> a large cavity or bladder was raised up 
all a long ye <u>Abdomen <\u> to ye edges of ye <u>os Ischion <\u> and fastened to the 
Gizzard containing in it all ye Gutts and Gizzard <s>but<\s> and other <u>Viscera <\u>
but excluding the heart and Liver, a conformation like this is observed 
in all Birds and peculiar to them and mentioned by <u>Perault <\u> in his 
<u>Mechanique des animaux<\u>. The air received by the Lungs refreshing 
and carrying off the noxious steames from ye Entrailes and is not confined 
as in men and Quadrupedes to ye <u>Thorax <\u> only, by a <u>Mediastinu <\u>. why this is so 
in Birds may be farther enquired.
                            
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Manuscript details

Author
Richard Waller
Reference
CLP/15i/37
Series
Cl.P
Date
1688
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Dissection of a paroquet [parakeet] communicated by Richard Waller, 1688. From The Royal Society, CLP/15i/37

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