'Cockatoo perched in Renaissance painting forces rethink of history'

Subject: 'Cockatoo perched in Renaissance painting forces rethink of history'
From: Con Boekel <>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2014 18:31:42 +1000


There are cockatoos in the Indonesian archipelago that look very, very similar to Sulphur-cresteds - I have had a great deal of difficulty separating them in the field. There were historical links, including extensive trading links, between the Indonesian archipelago and classical India/China (and hence europe) that well-predated the Renaissance. On this basis, IMHO, it is not at all unlikely that an Indonesian-sourced cockatoo made its way back to europe.

But the $64 question is whether the cockatoo in this case really can definitively be determined as C. galerita.

If so then two options operate. The first is that a stray Sulphur-crested flew to Indonesia. The second is that one was picked up in trade directly with Australia. But again there is a complication - Sulphur-cresteds are not exactly thick in the sky across northern Australia.

I look forward to the denoument.


On 13/05/2014 6:18 PM, David McDonald (personal) wrote:
Forgive me if this is something that everyone but me already knows about: 'Cockatoo perched in Renaissance painting forces rethink of history. Discovery of an animal more closely associated with Sydney than Venice is leading to a revision of early trading networks'
Oliver Milman, The Guardian, Wednesday 19 March 2014 13.54 AEST


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