Briefing: This bird has ceased to be...

Cuban parakeets. Today, parrots, or psittacines, make up almost 400 species that inhabit tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world.
Cuban parakeets. Today, parrots, or psittacines, make up almost 400 species that inhabit tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world.

Parrot fossil found in Siberia

The fossil parrot from Siberia compared with other parrot bones.
The fossil parrot from Siberia compared with other parrot bones.

To borrow a phrase from Monty Python, this bird has ceased to be and gone to meet its maker. But the dead parrot in question surprised scientists by shuffling off its mortal coil in Siberia more than 16 million years ago. It is the first time a parrot fossil has been found in this region and suggests that the tropical birds were once widespread in Eurasia. The single leg bone recovered from an island on Baikal Lake belonged to a small bird from the late Early Miocene epoch between 16 and 18 million years ago. No other parrot fossil has been discovered so far north. The find supports the theory that ancestors of modern parrots migrated from Asia to North America via the Berengia land bridge which once joined the two continents.

Boy shoots boy
A 16-year-old boy has been shot twice and critically wounded by another teenager when the two got into argument outside a junior school in a Salt Lake City suburb.

Police arrested a 14-year-old who they believe was the shooter, said Sandy police Sergeant Dean Carriger. The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital and is in critical condition, Carriger said.

Tiger claws trainer
Organisers of a Florida Panhandle fair say a trainer required hospital treatment after being clawed on the legs by a tiger as children looked on. Pensacola Interstate Fair publicist Katie King told the Pensacola News Journal that trainer Vicenta Pages suffered several cuts when a 2-year-old Bengal tiger named Gandhi clawed her legs. The publicist says Pages' husband rushed to help the trainer. Pages stood up unassisted and talked to the children before going to a hospital. King says the tiger won't be harmed.

Fugitives killed
Officers fatally shot a fugitive couple on a motel balcony when they refused to drop their weapons, which turned out to be BB guns that looked like real firearms, authorities said. Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley identified the pair as Brandon Jones and Chelsea Porter, both 25 and from Dover, Delaware. Shipley said both were wanted on warrants issued by the Delaware State Police for various drug and gun offenses.

Political trial
Venezuela's opposition-controlled Congress has opened a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the constitutional order, deepening a standoff triggered by authorities' suspension of a recall referendum against the widely unpopular socialist leader. The move, in a special legislative session today, had been expected but is unlikely to have any legal effect.

- agencies

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