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The white-eyed river martin (Pseudochelidon sirintarae) is a passerine bird in the swallow family. First found in 1968, it is known only from a single wintering site in Thailand, and may be extinct, since there have been no confirmed sightings since 1980 despite targeted surveys in Thailand and Cambodia. The adult has mainly glossy greenish-black plumage, a white rump, and a tail with two long central feathers that widen to a racket-shaped tip. It has a white eye ring and a broad, bright greenish-yellow bill. The juvenile lacks the tail ornaments and is browner. Like other swallows, it feeds on insects caught in flight, and its wide bill suggests that it may take relatively large species. It roosts in reed beds in winter, and may nest in river sandbanks. Its apparent demise may have been hastened by trapping, loss of habitat and dam construction. The martin is one of only two birds endemic to Thailand. The country's government has featured the bird on a stamp and a commemorative coin. (This article is part of a featured topic: River martin.)
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Coprinellus micaceus is a common species of fungus in the family Psathyrellaceae with a cosmopolitan distribution. It is a saprotrophic species, deriving nutrients from dead and decomposing wood. The fruiting body grows in clusters and is commonly known as the mica cap or shiny cap because of the fine layer of reflective mica-like cells on the cap surface. The fungus is edible soon after collection, but after a few hours, the gills begin to slowly dissolve into a black, inky, spore-laden liquid. These C. micaceus mushrooms were photographed near Erbach an der Donau, Germany.
Photograph credit: Holger Krisp
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Ghost of the Lagoon Short Story by Armstrong Sperry Many different people can be considered heroes. A person’s heroes might include well-known sports figures, firefighters, survivors of disaster, teachers, or respected friends and relatives. A hero, with his or her bravery, inner strength, or kindness, gives us inspiration for our everyday lives. My throat at the spot where the swallow starts. Stay put, I whispered to him. Stay strong, I whispered to me. Because crying is against The Rules.
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