Palaeontologists discover parrot fossil in Scandinavia
Palaeontologists have discovered fossil remains in Scandinavia of parrots dating back 55 million years. Reported today in the current issue of the journal Palaeontology, the fossils indicate that parrots once flew wild over what is now Norway and Denmark.
Parrots today live only in the tropics and southern hemisphere, but this new research, which was supported by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and University College Dublin (UCD), suggests that they first evolved in the North, much earlier than had been thought.
The fossil parrot was discovered on the Isle of Mors in the northwest of Denmark - far from where you'd normally expect to find a parrot. It's a new species, officially named 'Mopsitta tanta.' However, already its nick-name is the 'Danish Blue Parrot,' a term derived from a famous comedy sketch about a 'Norwegian Blue Parrot' in the 1970s BBC television programme 'Monty Python.'