n. plPsittaci(Zoöl) The order of birds which comprises the parrots.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
psittaciAn order of birds, having the bill hooked and cered, and the feet yoke-toed; the parrots, or the parrot tribe. This is one of the most natural and well-marked groups in ornithology, formerly referred to an “order” Scansores. The feet are permanently zygodactyl by reversion of the fourth toe, and covered with rugose or granular scales or plates. The wings have ten primaries, and the tail has ten rectrices. The bill is strongly epignathous, and furnished with a naked or feathered cere. The tongue is thick and fieshy, sometimes peculiarly brushy, and may be used as an organ of taction or prehension; the upper mandible is peculiarly movable, and the beak is habitually employed in progression. The symphysis of the lower jaw is short and obtuse. The bony orbits of the eyes are often completed by union of the lacrymal with the postorbital process. The sternum is entire or simply fenestrated behind, and the clavicles are weak, sometimes defective or wanting. The lower larynx or syrinx is peculiarly constructed, with three pairs of intrinsic muscles. The plumage is after-shafted; the oil-gland is absent, or present and tufted; there are no cæca and no gall-bladder; the carotid arteries are variable; the ambiens muscle is present, variable, or absent; the femorocaudal, semit endinosus, and its accessory are present; the accessory femorocaudal is absent. The Psittaci are considered to represent only one family, Psittacidæ; or two families, Stringopidæ and Psittacidæ (Sclater); or two families, Palæornithidæ and Psittacidæ (Garrod, Coues); or three families, Psittacidæ, Cacatuidæ, and Strigopidæ (Gray); or nine families, Stringopidæ, Plissolophidæ, Platycercidæ, Micropsittacidæ, Trichoglossidæ, Palæornithidæ, Psittacidæ, Conuridæ, and Pionidæ. There are upward of 400 species, inhabiting all tropical regions, but poorly represented in the temperate zones. They are chiefly frugivorous, and are sometimes called frugivorous Raptores. See the family names, and cockatoo, lory, lorikeet, love-bird, macaw, owl-parrot, parrakeet, and parrot. Also called Psittacinæ, Psittacini, and Psittacomorphæ.