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Guyana's National Flower
 The Victoria Amazonica/Regia

Victoria Regia
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This water lily is named after Queen Victoria and is native to the Amazon and surrounding areas in South America.  In 1836, the flower was first described by E.F. Poeppig, a German explorer. He named the lily Euryale Amazonica.   During the same year, another explorer, Richard Schomburgk described the same flower in British Guiana.  He named it Victoria Regia, after the Queen of England.   The official name was accepted as Victoria Amazonica, however it is still known to the locals as the Victoria Regia.

The are several different species of large water lilies named Victoria.  The Amazonica is perhaps the largest.  Its leaves can grow to more than 8 feet across, colored  green or yellowish green.  The outer side of the rim is dark
Flower of the Regia pink and can grow in length to approximately 5 inches.    The flower of the Amazonica blooms for about two nights, nevertheless, its flower can measure up to 10 inches across when fully opened.  This beautiful flower emits a powerful smell that is reminiscent of its tropical origins, a
combination of bananas and ripe pineapple.The seeds are quite nutritious and are used as food by the natives of the Amazon.

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Guyana's National Bird

  The Hoatzin

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The hoatzin is a very primitive looking bird that has a close resemblance to some of the earliest bird fossils; thus, Guyana's national bird is believed to be evolved from dinosaurs. Its scientific name, Opisthocomus hoatzin, means "pheasant with a crest down its back."  This bird has a short fat body, stout legs and feet, a long broad tail, long scruffy neck, and a tiny head capped by a crest of spiky feathers.   Chestnut-brown feathers with a bright blue face and red eyes as well as a strong musky odor that keeps away predators also characterize the hoatzin.

The hoatzin is definitely a distinctive bird.  First of all, it hardly ever
flies. When it does fly, it only travels short distances.  Secondly, it is a folivore, meaning it eats leaves.  Finally, the baby hoatzin has the ability to swim in order to avoid danger, however, this skill is lost in adulthood.  The hoatzin can be found along the banks of the Berbice river and its tributaries.

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