JUN 21, 2017 06:45 AM PDT

World's Largest Canary Discovered

A small island dubbed São Tomé resides in the middle of the Gulf of Guinea, just West of Africa, and it just so happens that this island’s rainforests were keeping a secret from experts this entire time.

Published in the International Journal of Avian Science, researchers describe what appears to be the world’s largest canary ever recorded. The newly-discovered specimen, a São Tomé Grosbeak, is reportedly so big that it dwarfs the second-place contender in size by as much as 50%.

The São Tomé Grosbeak is the world's largest canary, new study finds.

Image Credit: Alexandre Vaz

Its brown feather color, along with its extraordinary size, flattened head, and unique beak characteristics, led researchers to initially believe it was another species of bird, but they turned out to be mistaken after the results of a DNA analysis they conducted began to materialize.

At just 20 cm in length, it may sound like a small bird to begin with, but it’s a behemoth when compared to other known canaries.

Related: Study confirms some birds sleep while flying

Sadly, the São Tomé Grosbeak is critically endangered, which means it’s at risk for going extinct. The São Tomé island is secluded from the rest of mainland Africa, and as a result, the animal species on the island have evolved separately from those on the mainland. The only problem is, they're now starting to dwindle.

This separation spells out a very small subset of animals on the island that aren’t found anywhere else in the world, so when they’re gone from this island, they’re gone for good. Moreover, the São Tomé Grosbeak is just one of 20 endemic bird species on the entire island.

Perhaps with a little bit more research about the bird’s lifestyle and the dangers that it faces, we can learn of ways to protect the São Tomé Grosbeak from going extinct. Very little is currently known about the species or its way of life.

Nevertheless, time is of the essence, as it’s already getting close to those stages.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
SEP 17, 2019
What's Really Killing Coral Reefs?
A variety of environmental stressors threaten the world's coral reefs, most notably increases in water temperature due to climate change. Changes...
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
Watch This Dive Team Collect a Blood Sample From a Captive Whale Shark
Getting a blood sample from a massive whale shark can be particularly challenging and would typically require administering an anesthetic to put the animal...
SEP 17, 2019
Cancer
SEP 17, 2019
The anti-cancer flower
Perhaps you have heard of feverfew, a quite common flowering plant that graces many home gardens. Its cute white petals may bring a smile to your lips &nda...
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
The Hard Life of a Polar Bear Cub
The Arctic is an unforgiving land of ice and snow, and at first glance, it seems like a desolate place to be. But a small subset of animals, including gray...
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
Barn Owls Fly Without Making a Sound
When most birds take flight, their wingbeats cause a ruckus; this is typically a repetitive ‘swooshing’ noise generated by the rushing air that...
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
These Young Seabirds Must Learn to Fly or be Eaten by Sharks
These young albatrosses must learn the official rules of ‘survival of the fittest.’ Once big enough, they will need to become as adept at flyin...
Loading Comments...