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1601 sketch of the broad-billed parrot

The broad-billed parrot is a large extinct parrot in the family Psittaculidae that was endemic to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It has been classified as a member of the tribe Psittaculini, and may have been closely related to the Rodrigues parrot. The broad-billed parrot had a large head in proportion to its body, a distinct crest of feathers on the front of the head, and a very large beak that would have enabled it to crack hard seeds. Subfossil bones indicate that the species exhibited greater sexual dimorphism in overall size and head size than any living parrot. A contemporary description indicates that it had a blue head, a greyish or blackish body, and perhaps a red beak. The broad-billed parrot was first referred to as the "Indian raven" in Dutch ships' journals from 1598 onwards. It was first scientifically described from a subfossil mandible in 1866, but this was not linked to the few brief contemporary descriptions until the rediscovery of a detailed 1601 sketch (pictured). The bird became extinct in the 17th century owing to a combination of deforestation, predation by introduced invasive species, and probably also because of hunting. (Full article...)

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A photograph of hands holding a gold trophy in the form of a ball held by people with their arms extended above their heads all standing on a base

The FIFA World Cup finals are the last matches of the FIFA World Cup, an international association football competition established in 1930. The results of the finals determine which men's national team is declared world champions and receives the FIFA World Cup Trophy (pictured). The tournament has been decided by a one-off match on every occasion except 1950, when the tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams. With five titles, Brazil is the most successful World Cup team and also the only nation to have participated in every World Cup finals tournament. Germany, the current champions, and Italy have four titles each. The other former champions are Uruguay and Argentina with two titles each, and England, France, and Spain with one each. (Full list...)

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Auckland

A panoramic view of Auckland, the largest and most populous city in New Zealand. At the far left is the Auckland Harbour Bridge; prominent in the centre-left of the photograph are the Sky Tower and the Auckland Central Business District, which is one of the most built-up areas in the country.

Photograph: Christian Mehlf hrer

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