Parrot, common name applied to any of about 340 species of brightly colored birds that make up the parrot family. Most parrots are tropical, with only a few species reaching northern and southern temperate areas. The areas of greatest diversity include South America, Australia, and New Guinea and adjacent islands. Relatively few species inhabit Africa or mainland Asia.
Parrot has curved, hooked bills and short legs. Parrot toes are zygotic —that is, the first and fourth are turned backward. They walk awkwardly but are excellent climbers, often using their bills to pull themselves up to a higher branch. In most parrots the tongue is thick and muscular, used deftly for manipulating seeds, which, with fruit, are their principal food. In the lories the tongue is longer and has a brush-like tip for feeding on nectar.
Kingfishers of all three families beat their prey to death, either by whipping it against a tree or by dropping it on a stone.They are able to see well both in air and under water. To do this, their eyes have evolved an egg-shaped lens able to focus in the two different environments.
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