quetzal


quet·zal

noun \ket-ˈsäl, -ˈsal\
plural quetzals or quet·za·les \-ˈsä-(ˌ)lās, -ˈsa-\

Definition of QUETZAL

1
:  a Central American trogon (Pharomachrus mocinno) that has brilliant green plumage above, a red breast, and in the male long upper tail coverts
2
plural quetzales — see money table

Illustration of QUETZAL

Origin of QUETZAL

American Spanish, from Nahuatl quetzalli tail coverts of the quetzal
First Known Use: 1827

quetzal

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of several tropical arboreal, short-billed, fruit-eating birds (genus Pharomachrus) in the trogon family (Trogonidae), whose weak feet have, uniquely, the second toe directed backward. It was the sacred bird of the ancient Mayas and Aztecs. Today the quetzal, found in remote parts of cloud forests from southern Mexico to Bolivia, is the national emblem of Guatemala (whose monetary unit is the quetzal). The resplendent, or Guatemalan, quetzal is about 50 in. (125 cm) long. Long blue-green plumes cover the tail; the breast and head, with a rounded hairlike crest, are gold-green; the blue back has a curly gold-tinged mantle; and the belly is red. The quetzal is now listed as endangered.

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