Dissection of a paroquet [parakeet] communicated by Richard Waller

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                                3. The <u>Aspera arteria <\u> differs from that of most other animals having 
not only a <u>Larynx <\u> at ye top there of as is usual but another also at its 
Entrance into ye breast where it is divided and branches it selfe into two: from 
this structure as I have bin told common to all Parrots, possibly it may bee
that they can so readily immitate human voices, but this creature wee 
dissected never attempts an Immitation of words makeing only a shrill 
chirping noise doubling ye Tone or making it Eight notes lower as a stopt organ pipe is an it. This lower <u>Larinx <\u> <s>I say <\s> may assist ye weake fabric of so 
small a creature as a Parrot to counterfeit so base a voice as a mans 
it being observed <s>that In<\s> by some Ingenious Persons that Parrots are Ventrilo 
qui and whether all ventriloquous Cheats may not by Nature be framed for 
such an Imposture may bee query’d if the Bodys of any such should bee 
4. The <u>Heart <\u] in proportion to ye Animal was large and liver small as may 
be seen by the figure: there was nothing that I observed extraordinary 
In the Testiles or Kidneys however I have given a figure thereof 
5. The <u>Tongue <\u> was broad and thick, at ye End somewhat like a mans 
whence a Parrot has its name [Greek anthropoulopos], the extremity of it was 
armed with a black horney cover.
6. Having don with those parts which relate to ye air and blood, to proceed 
to those that concern ye reception and digestion of ye food, it has besides 
the Gizzard two Craws. The Uppermost craw being only a receptacle or 
sack for the food (which is canary seed) to be again committed to ye mouth 
of this bird where it is again chewed having before bin only husked; this <s>animal <\s>
Animal ruminateing as some Quadrupedes do, and I have observed this 
bird when upon ye Perch not only brings its food again up into its mouth 
and there chew it but when ye Cock and hen sitt together on ye Perch he 
will putt it out of his into ye Hens mouth. Their manner of chewing is thus 
The under bill being much shorter shuts within the upper or against the 
roofe of ye mouth which is fitted with severall rows of very small and 
scarce to be seen cross bars as ye mouths of horses Dogs & some other animals 
are: these bars are not soft but horney as being part of ye upper bill so that 
the bird by carrying the Edge of ye under bill and End of ye Tongue against 
the ridges in the upper, breakes and reduces to a pap the seeds that have bin 
first moistened in the craw to expedite which action the upper bill is joynted 
just below the Eyes of this bird as the <u>Crocodilles <\u> upper Jaw has errone 
ously thought to have bin but is really so hard. The food being thus macerated is by ye <u>Gula <\u>
again committed to ye second craw but before its entrance into it it 
passes by an abundance of small glands placed in that part of ye <u>Gula <\u>
that ye food may squeeze out of them in its passage a juice of what 
necessity in digestion may bee riquired. from hence the food passes 
to the Gizzard or proper <s>ventricle <\s> Ventricle small in comparison of the <u>Ingluvies <\u>

+ Eighth to ye same open 
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Richard Waller
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Cite as

Dissection of a paroquet [parakeet] communicated by Richard Waller, 1688. From The Royal Society, CLP/15i/37



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