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(kĕtsäl`) or


(kāsäl`), common name for a magnificent bird of the family Trogonidae (trogontrogon
, family of tropical jungle birds related to the roadrunners and including the quetzal. Trogons are sedentary arboreal birds, 10 to 14 in. (25.4–35.6 cm) long, with short rounded wings, long squared tails, and small weak legs.
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 family), found in the rain forests from S Mexico to Costa Rica at altitudes of up to 9,000 ft (2,745 m). It is strikingly beautiful, with a crested head, bronze-green back, and crimson and white underparts. Quetzals nest in holes, and lay from two to four eggs per clutch. The male shares incubation duties with the female. The nesting hole has a single entrance, not two as was once believed. The Aztec and Maya used the 2-ft (61-cm) shimmering green tail plumes of the breeding male ceremonially and worshiped the bird as the god of the air, associating it with the god QuetzalcoatlQuetzalcoatl
[Nahuatl,=feathered serpent], ancient deity and legendary ruler of the Toltec in Mexico. The name is also that of a Toltec ruler, who is credited with the discovery of corn, the arts, science, and the calendar.
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. The quetzal, Pharomachrus mocino, is the national bird of Guatemala, and a monetary unit of the country is also called a quetzal. Quetzals are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Trogoniformes, family Trogonidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Pharomachrus mocino), a bird of the order Trogoniformes. The body (without the tail) measures approximately 40 cm long. The head, breast, and back are an iridescent green, the lower part of the breast and the abdomen are crimson, and the tail is black and white and entirely covered by very long (up to 80 cm) upper coverts. The bird inhabits the mountain rain forests of Central America, from southern Mexico to western Panama. It nests twice a year in tree hollows, producing two pale blue eggs at a time. The quetzal feeds on small fruits. The young are initially fed insects and small lizards, then fruits. The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Key words: Aulacorhynchus prasinus; birds, seed dispersal; Chamaepetes unicolor; Neotropical cloud forest in Costa Rica; Ocotea endresiana (Lauraceae); Pharomachrus mocinno; Procnias tricarunculata; recruitment; rodents, seed predation; seed dispersal and predation; seedling survival; Turdus plebejus.
Ocotea endresiana fruits are eaten primarily by five species of birds: Emerald Toucanet (Ramphastidae: Aulacorhynchus prasinus), Resplendent Quetzal (Trogonidac: Pharomachrus mocinno), Three-wattled Bellbird (Cotingidae: Procnias tricarunculata), Mountain Robin (Turdidae: Turdus plebejus), and Black Guan (Cracidae: Chamaepetes unicolor), all of which breed in the study site during the fruiting season.
Implications of intratropical migration on reserve design: a case study using Pharomachrus mocinno.
The diet of Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno mocinno: Trogonidae) in a Mexican cloud forests.
Implications of altitudinal migration for conservation strategies to protect tropical biodiversity: a case study of quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno at Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Genetic diversity and conservation of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno in Mesoamerica.
Fenologia de 22 especies y su relacion con la migracion altitudinal del quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno mocinno, De La Llave 1832) en la reserva de la biosfera El Triunfo, Chiapas, Mexico.
The Montana Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia), and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands.
Characteristic northern Mesoamerican cloud forest birds, like the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) and the Slate-colored Solitaire (Myadestes unicolor), range in altitude from ~1 0003 000 m.
An interchange between bird populations of both sites has been observed on the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), which moved apparently from the Sierra de las Minas eastwards to the Sierra de Chuacus and from there to Caquipec and Yalijux (Paiz 1996).
Spatial organization of the structural color system in the quetzal, Pharomachrus mocino (Aves: Trogonidae) and evolutionary implications.