London, May 16 : The Norwegian Blue parrot immortalised in the 1960s and 70s by Monty Python, actually existed at a certain point of time, claims an assistant curator of natural history at Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service.
Dr David Waterhouse insists that the Blue parrot created by John Cleese and Michael Palin in their classic dead parrot comedy sketch indeed existed around Norway.
Dr Waterhouse, also a Monty Python fan has discovered a fossilised wing from a mine in Denmark that came from a bird, which belonged to the parrot family.
"I specialise in bird fossils and am also a Python fan, so I have lived with jokes about dead parrots for years. Obviously we were dealing with a bird bereft of life, but the tricky bit was establishing it was a parrot," the Mirror quoted Waterhouse, as saying.
He believes the species would have flown in Norway, as it would have had the same climate as Denmark at the time.
He named it the Danish Blue, although the species, a new discovery, has been given the scientific name Mopsitta Tanta.
"It isn't as unbelievable as you might think. When Mopsitta was alive, most of Northern Europe was experiencing a warm period, with a shallow tropical lagoon covering much of Germany, South East England and Denmark," he said.
"This new evidence suggests that parrots evolved right here in the Northern Hemisphere before diversifying further south in the tropics later on," he added.
Dr Waterhouse made his discovery in 2005 when he visited a small museum on the Isle of Mors in Jutland. He was able to establish the fossilised 6 cm long upper wing clearly showed features from the parrot family.
The dead parrot TV sketch was written by Cleese and Graham Chapman, creators of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show.
Screened in 1969, the sketch featured Cleese as angry parrot owner Eric Praline trying to convince a pet shop owner played by Michael Palin that the bird he had bought earlier was dead.