26 veljače 2012

Samoa 20 tala, 2008

The 50m Sopo'aga Waterfall situated on Le Mafa Pass Road, Upolu island.
Manumea or Samoan Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris), national bird of Samoa.
The Tooth-billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) also known as Samoan Pigeon, is a medium-sized, approximately 34 cm long, dark pigeon with reddish feet and bare skin around eye. The underparts, head and neck are blackish with a slight blue-green iridescence, and the tail, wings-coverts and tertials are chestnut, while the remaining remiges are blackish. It has a large, curved, and hooked orange bill with toothlike projections on the lower mandible. Both sexes are similar, but the juvenile is duller, with a black bill with only the base orange.

The only extant member in the monotypic genus Didunculus, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is confined to undisturbed forests of Samoa in the Pacific. It feeds almost exclusively on the fruits of Dysoxylum, a tree in the mahogany family.

The species was probably found in October or November 1839, by the United States' Exploring Expedition under Commander Wilkes. The discovery of the bird was announced by Hugh Edwin Strickland in September 1844 as being among the rarities obtained by Mr. Titian Peale, the naturalist of the expedition. The formal description was made by William Jardine (Ann. Nat. Hist. xvi. p. 175, plate 9), under the name of Gnathodon strigirostris, although that genus name was already in use for a mollusc.

The Tooth-billed Pigeon has no close living relative, and may represent a link between the pigeons and the extinct Dodo (Didunculus means "little Dodo" and the English name of Dodlet was suggested by Sir Richard Owen). The jaw and tongue structure, and the superficially parrotlike bill have suggested a relationship to the parrots, but these features have arisen from its specialised diet rather than any real relationship.

Because of ongoing habitat loss, limited range, small population size, and occasional natural disasters, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

1 komentar:

  1. Probably one of the most colorful banknotes ever produced! And it was an IBNS Banknote of the Year one time.