Argentina has for many years had a reputation for hidden things; for a long time it was Nazi war criminals and then it was thousands of people disappearing in the 1970s. Aside from all that there are a number of mystery animals to be found within its borders. Given the task of choosing one cryptid from the country I have plumped for a bird, the glaucous macaw.
A member of the parrot family, the glaucous macaw was, as its name suggests, a turquoise-blue colour with a greyish head (glaucous meaning of a pale greyish- or bluish-green colour). It measured 28 inches with a long tail and a large bill. First scientifically described in 1818 by Louis Viellott, the glaucous macaw would not have much of a recorded history with the last confirmed example dying in London Zoo in 1912. There was another one that allegedly survived in Buenos Aires Zoo until 1936 and with the death of this bird the species was officially declared extinct. Habitat destruction was noted as the cause of the extinction. The bird’s primary food source was the nuts of the Yatay Palm, which has been subjected to widescale felling. But like any good cryptid an official extinction isn’t really the end of the story: there are still reports of sightings taking place in a number of Argentine provinces and so it may only be a matter of time before the glaucous macaw is rediscovered.
Where next? Well, how about a swim across the River Plate to Uruguay.