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A bird that once numbered in the billions, the Passenger Pigeon became extinct one hundred years ago in 1914 with the death of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon in captivity.
Once There Were Billions is our upcoming exhibit about the many species of bird that have gone extinct. It will feature many images from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, like this illustration of the Passenger Pigeon from Audubon’s The Birds of America (1842). 


Giraffe weevil - Trachelophorus giraffa

Trachelophorus giraffa (Coleoptera - Attelabidae) is a weevil endemic to Madagascar, discovered in 2008, and commonly named Giraffe weevil due to its extended neck much like that of the common giraffe.

The giraffe weevil is sexually dimorphic, with the neck of the male typically being 2 to 3 times the length of that of the female. Most of the body is black with distinctive red elytra covering the flying wings. The total body length of the males is just under 2.5 cm, among the longest for any Attelabid species.

The extended neck is an adaptation that assists in nest building and fighting. When it comes time to breed, the mother-to-be will roll and secure a leaf of the host plant, Dichaetanthera cordifolia and Dichaetanthera arborea (a small tree in the family Melastomataceae), and then lay a single egg within the tube. She will then snip the roll from the remaining leaf in preparation of the egg hatching.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©John Lenagan

Locality: Andasiibe, Madagascar.

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