Environment

The RQ lives in the cloud forest and in pre-Hispanic times dwelled as far north as Oaxaca and Chiapas in Mexico and as far south as the highlands of Panama. It lives among the lush vegetation of the cloud forests' enormous (100- to 150-foot-tall) oak trees interspersed with several members of the laurel family (Lauraceae), whose fruits, a form of small wild avocado, are a primary food source. The quetzal is considered to be a specialized frugivore, feeding mainly on the fruits of a few species and acting as a major seed disperser for them. In fact, the ancestors of the resplendent quetzal and laural family of fruits may have been linked since the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary.

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