Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Samoa in the News

The manumea or little dodo or Samoan pigeon or tooth-billed pigeon
A brief post on National Geographic informs us of conservation efforts underway to preserve the Samoan national bird so that it doesn't, as they say, go the way of the dodo, its cousin.

Journalist John Platt notes in his Scientific American article on the manumea that "there are far more 20 tālā bills in circulation than there are birds in the wild."

What Platt doesn't tell us when he writes "the bird’s name in the Samoan language, however, is much more colorful: manumea," is that the suffix -mea is used to denote a reddish or brownish color in plants, fish, birds, or other animals. Judging by the image above, it looks like the Samoans nailed it: the bird's name literally is colorful.

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