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From today's featured article

Live female passenger pigeon in the 1890s

The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), now extinct, was endemic to North America. Sometimes confused with the mourning dove, the male pigeons were 39 to 41 cm (15.4 to 16.1 in) in length and mainly gray on the upperparts, with iridescent bronze feathers on the neck and black spots on the wings; the females were duller and browner. They inhabited mainly deciduous forests in eastern North America, primarily around the Great Lakes. Migrating in enormous flocks, they were once the most abundant bird species in North America, with a population of perhaps 3 to 5 billion. They could reach flying speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph). The birds fed on nuts, seeds, fruits and invertebrates. They practiced communal roosting and communal breeding. In the 19th century, when widespread deforestation was destroying their habitat, they were commercialized as cheap food and hunted voraciously. Martha, thought to be the last passenger pigeon, died on September 1, 1914, at the Cincinnati Zoo. Eradication of the species has been described as one of the most senseless extinctions induced by humans. (Full article...)

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Hertzoggies in a South African bakery
Hertzoggies

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Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge under construction in 2015
Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge under construction

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September 1: Constitution Day in Slovakia

King Louis XIV
King Louis XIV
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Today's featured picture

A time lapse video showing one rotation of the Falkirk Wheel; in this video, the rotation period of approximately 10 minutes has been compressed to ten seconds. Connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal near Falkirk, Scotland, the rotating boat lift raises and lowers boats by 24 m (79 ft). It was opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project.

Video: David Iliff

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