Upon hearing reports of his own demise, Mark Twain famously retorted that rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated. The same could be said of the golden-crowned manakin, a small Brazilian bird thought to have gone extinct almost a half-century ago but recently rediscovered in the Amazon rainforest. The bird was found by German ornithologist Helmut Sick in 1957. That was also the last year anyone ever saw a golden-crowned manakin, and the bird was eventually given up for dead — until two Brazilian scientists, Fabio Olmos and Jose Fernando Pacheco, found a single male member of the species last week. (Pacheco has a reputation for bringing back the dead, having previously rediscovered the kinglet cotinga, a bird that hadn’t been seen since the 19th century.) Unfortunately, unlike in Twain’s case, rumors of the species’ demise were only slightly exaggerated; scientists fear that habitat destruction poses a major threat to the long-term survival of the bird.

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