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Parrot Genes Reveal Why the Birds Are So Clever & Long-Lived

Researchers say these avian creatures are as genetically distant from other birds as humans are from other primates

In general, a bird’s lifespan tends to correlate with its size. The chirpy canary, for example, typically weighs less than one ounce and lives to around 10 years old, while the 6.5- to 14-pound bald eagle lives up to 28 years in the wild. But parrots, a remarkably versatile order of more than 350 bird species, defy this rule of thumb, living up to roughly 80 years despite their relatively small stature—the birds weigh between 2.25 ounces to 3.5 pounds on average.

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