The Attwaters prairie chicken is a highly endangered subspecies of the greater prairie chicken that is native to coastal Texas and Louisiana in the United States.
Attwaters prairie chicken measure around 17-18 in (43-45.5 cm) and weighs roughly 1.5 to 2.0 lb (0.7 to 0.9 kg). It has a 28-in (70-cm) wingspan. These greater prairie chickens have vertical bars of dark brown and buff-white pattern over the mantle, flanks, and underparts. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the males having elongated feathers, called pinnae, erected to form ear-like structures. The male also has as a bright orange or golden air sac on either side of their neck, which he inflates when he wants to mate with the female. They live for two to five years.
In 2003, there were fewer than 50 of these birds left in the wild. In 2016, the population decreased to 42 birds because of heavy spring floods, which wiped out an entire generation of chickens. Hurricane Harvey that hit in 2017 was even more disastrous, that killed at least 32 birds, with only five females found during the hurricane survey of the area. However, in the spring of 2018, the rough wild population was 12. In February 2019, with the Houston Zoo releasing many of the chickens the previous year, the wild population is around 200.
Fact of the day: The right lung takes in more air than the left, because the left lung is smaller to make room for the heart.
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Riddle of the day: Mr. Smith has 4 daughters. Each of his daughters has a brother. How many children does Mr. Smith have?