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Lady Ross' Plantain-Eaters
15" x 36"
the canopies of various types of Central African forests, Lady
Ross' plantain-eater (Musophaga rossae) makes its home.
Living in small groups, these brilliantly-colored birds leap
and scramble nimbly about the branches and lianas as they forage
for fruits and snails. As do their close relatives the touracos,
plantain-eaters produce the unique feather pigment turacin, a
copper compound the imparts an intense crimson color to their
crests and primary feathers. It is commonly stated that this
pigment is water soluble and can be washed out, but I've been
unable to achieve this result, even by boiling feathers. Among
the incidental animals in this piece are mousteched monkeys (Cercopithecus
cephus), pygmy kingfisher (Ceyx picta) and the usual
lacertid lizard Poromera fordii.