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A poem I had to make for school, it’s based off of John Godfrey Saxe’s “Six Blind Men and The elephant.” The whole gimmick is that the aliens think that the planet they land on is the only one in the entire system. All right, now I’ll let you read what I copied...

Nine lucky aliens of different species that were born at just the right time to explore the universe came to our solar system. Each found a different major celestial body, but had no awareness of the other eight bodies.


The first, with a floating blue cube for a head, came across Mercury. He communicated to his comrades: “This system’s planet is very hot and desolate, are you sure we should colonize here?


A reply came back, from the second alien, with a short tubular yellow head, who was on Venus: “Do you see the sky? Because where I am there is constant cloud cover and hostile temperatures. We should move to the next system.


The third alien, with a tall green head and sparse black hair, who had chanced upon Earth, contributed to the debate. “Guys, I’m not seeing anything you are talking about here. Yeah, there is an atmosphere, (with beautiful clouds too) but this place is lush and full of life. Almost reminds me of my homeworld.


Alien four, who you can probably guess landed on mars, had a long black head with a carapace-like shell, joined in: “I can definitely back Alien three’s observation, except for the fact that this place is cold and dead, with red sand everywhere.


Alien five had a pink hair on pale round head, no nose, and massive blue eyes, and had arrived in a low parking orbit of Jupiter. Looking around, she gave her idea: “Wait, what if you are all on different moons of a planet, because this place has tons of them! I don’t think I should land here, as the surface doesn’t look solid.


The sixth alien, who had a pink round body and mouth that could fit around almost anything, arrived at Saturn. “Alien five, do you see rings? Like, glorious, awe-inspiring rings?” She responded back:


Alien six was perplexed.

I see a planet that fits in all of your parameters, except it has huge rings!


The seventh alien was a gargantuan six-legged monster, and she found Uranus. Perplexed by the color, she asked Aliens five and six: “Is the planet you are speaking of blue? This also fits what you were saying, except it doesn’t have as many moons as you were thinking, Five.


Alien eight (who got to Neptune and was entirely robotic, with a crown on) butted in. “Seven, I see exactly what you see, but is the color dark or light blue?”


Alright, I don’t see exactly what you see.


The ninth alien, which had a TV set for a head, landed at Pluto and remarked: “I have something that contradicts everything you guys have observed; this place is cold, dead, and very dark.


And so, the argument continued, and no one could figure out the real reason none of them were right. After a long gout of bickering, the aliens decided to move to the next system. When they came back, the aliens arrived on different planets and started arguing again.


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  • 8 months later...
  • 7 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

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(I was trying to insert a space doggo into my signature directly from imgflip)


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Edited by Kane Kerman
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Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
Stupid ELA IR source is stupid
Edited by Fraston
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Invictus by William Ernest Henley /10



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Male cockatiel
Female cockatiel
Scientific classificationedit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae
Subfamily: Nymphicinae
Genus: Nymphicus
Wagler, 1832
N. hollandicus
Binomial name
Nymphicus hollandicus
(Kerr, 1792)
Bird range cockatiel.png
Cockatiel range (in red; all-year resident)

Psittacus hollandicus Kerr, 1792
Leptolophus hollandicus

The cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), also known as weiro bird, or quarrion, is a small parrot that is a member of its own branch of the cockatoo family endemic to Australia. They are prized as household pets and companion parrots throughout the world and are relatively easy to breed. As a caged bird, cockatiels are second in popularity only to the budgerigar.[2]

The cockatiel is the only member of the genus Nymphicus. It was previously considered a crested parakeet or small cockatoo; however, more recent molecular studies have assigned it to its own subfamily, Nymphicinae. It is, therefore, now classified as the smallest of the Cacatuidae (cockatoo family). Cockatiels are native to Australia, favouring the Australian wetlands, scrublands, and bushlands.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

Originally described by Scottish writer and naturalist Robert Kerr in 1793 as Psittacus hollandicus, the cockatiel (or cockateel) was moved to its own genus, Nymphicus, by Wagler in 1832.[3] Its genus name reflects the experience of one of the earliest groups of Europeans to see the birds in their native habitat; the travellers thought the birds were so beautiful that they named them after mythical nymphs. The specific name hollandicus refers to New Holland, a historic name for Australia.

Its biological relationships were for a long time uncertain; it is now placed in a monotypic subfamily Nymphicinae, but was sometimes in the past classified among the Platycercinae, the broad-tailed parrots. This issue was settled with molecular studies. A 1984 study of protein allozymes signalled its closer relationship to cockatoos than to other parrots,[4] and mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequence data[5] places it among the Calyptorhynchinae (dark cockatoos) subfamily. The unique, parakeet (meaning long-tailed parrot) morphological feature is a consequence of the decrease in size and accompanying change of ecological niche.

Sequence analysis of intron 7 of the nuclear ?-fibrinogen gene, on the other hand, indicates that it may yet be distinct enough as to warrant recognition of the Nymphicinae rather than inclusion of the genus in the Calyptorhynchinae.[6]

The cockatiel is now biologically classified as a genuine member of Cacatuidae on account of sharing all of the cockatoo family's biological features, namely, the erectile crest, a gallbladder, powder down, suppressed cloudy-layer (which precludes the display of blue and green structural colours), and facial feathers covering the sides of the beak, all of which are rarely found outside the family Cacatuidae. This biological relation to other cockatoos is further supported by the existence of at least one documented case of a successful hybrid between a cockatiel and a galah, another cockatoo species.[7]


1927 Brehms Tierleben painting

The cockatiel's distinctive erectile crest expresses the animal's emotional state. The crest is dramatically vertical when the cockatiel is startled or excited, gently oblique in its neutral or relaxed state, and flattened close to the head when the animal is angry or defensive. The crest is also held flat but protrudes outward in the back when the cockatiel is trying to appear alluring or flirtatious. When the cockatiel is tired, the crest is seen positioned halfway upwards, with the tip of the crest usually curling upward.[8] In contrast to most cockatoos, the cockatiel has long tail feathers roughly making up half of its total length. At 30 to 33 cm (12 to 13 in), the cockatiel is the smallest of the cockatoos which are generally larger at between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 in).

Wild cockatiels, Australia

The "normal grey" or "wild-type" cockatiel's plumage is primarily grey with prominent white flashes on the outer edges of each wing. The face of the male is yellow or white, while the face of the female is primarily grey or light grey, and both sexes feature a round orange area on both ears, often referred to as "cheddar cheeks". This orange colouration is generally vibrant in adult males, and often quite muted in females. Visual sexing is often possible with this variant of the bird.

Cockatiels are relatively vocal birds, the calls of the male being more varied than that of the female. Cockatiels can be taught to sing specific melodies and speak many words and phrases. They have also learned to imitate certain human or environmental sounds without being taught how to do so.

Sexual dimorphism[edit]

All wild cockatiel chicks and juveniles look female, and are virtually indistinguishable from the time of hatching until their first moulting. They display horizontal yellow stripes or bars on the ventral surface of their tail feathers, yellow spots on the ventral surface of the primary flight feathers of their wings, a grey coloured crest and face, and a dull orange patch on each of their cheeks.

Adult cockatiels are sexually dimorphic, though to a lesser degree than many other avian species. This is only evident after the first moulting, typically occurring about six to nine months after hatching: the male loses the white or yellow barring and spots on the underside of his tail feathers and wings. The grey feathers on his cheeks and crest are replaced by bright yellow feathers, while the orange cheek patch becomes brighter and more distinct. The face and crest of the female will typically remain mostly grey, though also with an orange cheek patch. Additionally, the female commonly retains the horizontal barring on the underside of her tail feathers.

The colour in cockatiels is derived from two pigments: melanin (which provides the grey colour in the feathers, eyes, beak, and feet), and psittacofulvins (which provide the yellow colour on the face and tail and the orange colour of the cheek patch). The grey colour of the melanin overrides the yellow and orange of the psittacofulvins when both are present.

The melanin content decreases in the face of the males as they mature, allowing the yellow and orange psittacofulvins to be more visible, while an increase in melanin content in the tail causes the disappearance of the horizontal yellow tail bars.

In addition to these visible characteristics, the vocalisation of adult males is typically louder and more complex than that of females.

Colour mutations[edit]

Main article: Cockatiel colour genetics
Two different-coloured male cockatiels
Female Lutino cockatiel

Worldwide there are currently 22 cockatiel colour mutations established in aviculture, of which eight are exclusive to Australia. Mutations in captivity have emerged in various colours, some quite different from those observed in nature. Wild cockatiels are grey with visible differences between males and females. Male grey cockatiels typically have yellow heads while the female has a grey head. Juveniles tend to look like females with pinker beaks. The pied mutation first appeared in California in 1949. This mutation is a blotch of colour on an otherwise solid-coloured bird. For example, this may appear as a grey blotch on a yellow cockatiel.

Lutino colouration was first seen in 1958. These birds lack the grey of their wild counterparts and are white to soft yellow. This is a popular colour; due to inbreeding, these cockatiels often have a small bald patch behind their crests. The cinnamon mutation, first seen in the 1950s, is very similar in appearance to the grey; however, these birds have a warmer, browner colouring. Pearling was first seen in 1967. This is seen as a feather of one colour with a different coloured edge, such as grey feathers with yellow tips. This distinctive pattern is on a bird's wings or back. The albino colour mutation is a lack of pigment. These birds are white with red eyes. Fallow cockatiels first appeared sometime in the 1970s. This mutation shows as a bird with cinnamon colouring with yellow sections. Other mutations include emerald/olive, dominant and recessive silver, and mutations exclusive to Australia: Australian fallow, faded (west coast silver), dilute/pastel silver (east coast silver), silver spangle (edged dilute), platinum, suffused (Australian olive), and pewter. Other mutations, such as face altering mutations, include whiteface, pastelface, dominant yellow cheek, sex-linked yellow cheek, gold cheek, creamface, and the Australian yellow cheek.

Cockatiel colour mutations can become even more complex as one bird can have multiple colour mutations. For example, a yellow lutino cockatiel may have pearling – white spots on its back and wings. This is a double mutation. An example of a quadruple mutation would be cinnamon cockatiel with yellowface colouring with pearling and pied markings.[9]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
Recording of a cockatiel

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Cockatiels are native to Australia, where they are found largely in arid or semi-arid country but always close to water. Largely nomadic, the species will move to where food and water is available.[2] They are typically seen in pairs or small flocks.[2] Sometimes, hundreds will flock around a single body of water. To many farmers' dismay, they often eat cultivated crops. They are absent from the most fertile southwest and southeast corners of the country, the deepest Western Australian deserts, and Cape York Peninsula. They are the only cockatoo species which can sometimes reproduce in the end of their first year.

Young cockatiel.jpg

Life span[edit]

One-day-old cockatiel chick

The cockatiel's lifespan in captivity is generally given as 16 to 25 years,[10] though it is sometimes given as short as 10 to 15 years, and there are reports of cockatiels living as long as 32 years, the oldest confirmed specimen reported being 36 years old.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Nymphicus hollandicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c "Factsheets:Cockatiel". Australian Museum. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ Assis, V.D.L.; Carvalho, T.S.G.; Pereira, V.M.; Freitas, R.T.F.; Saad, C.E.P.; Costa, A.C.; Silva, A.A.A.; Assis, V.D.L.; Carvalho, T.S.G.; Pereira, V.M.; Freitas, R.T.F.; Saad, C.E.P.; Costa, A.C.; Silva, A.A.A. (1990-01-06). "Environmental enrichment on the behavior and welfare of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus)". Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia. 68 (3): 562–570. doi:10.1590/1678-4162-8747. ISSN 0102-0935.
  4. ^ Adams, M; Baverstock, PR; Saunders, DA; Schodde, R; Smith, GT (1984). "Biochemical systematics of the Australian cockatoos (Psittaciformes: Cacatuinae)". Australian Journal of Zoology. 32 (3): 363–77. doi:10.1071/ZO9840363.
  5. ^ Brown, D.M. & Toft, C.A. (1999): Molecular systematics and biogeography of the cockatoos (Psittaciformes: Cacatuidae). Auk 116(1): 141-157. JSTOR 4089461
  6. ^ Astuti, Dwi (2004): A phylogeny of Cockatoos (Aves: Psittaciformes) inferred from DNA sequences of the seventh intron of Nuclear ?-fibrinogen gene. Doctoral work, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Japan.
  7. ^ https://www.talkingbirds.com.au/world-firsts/galatiel-php/world-first-galah-breeds-with-cockatiel
  8. ^ "How to Understand a Cockatiel by His Crest". PetHelpful. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  9. ^ Grindol, Diane (1998-07-20). The Complete Book of Cockatiels. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-87605-178-8.
  10. ^ Eleanor McCaffrey. "Cockatiels 101". cockatielcottage.net.
  11. ^ Brouwer, K.; Jones, M.L.; King, C.E. & Schifter, H. (2000). "Longevity records for Psittaciformes in captivity". International Zoo Yearbook. 37 (1): 299–316. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.2000.tb00735.x.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

30px-Commons-logo.svg.png Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nymphicus hollandicus.
34px-Wikispecies-logo.svg.png Wikispecies has information related to Nymphicus hollandicus
Cockatoos (family: Cacatuidae)
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