One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large tree-dwelling tropical American bird with weak flight. Young hoatzins have hooked claws on their wings, enabling them to climb around among the branches.
Opisthocomus hoazin, the only member of the family Opisthocomidae (order Galliformes or Cuculiformes)
- ‘The rate of food passage through the digestive system is rapid in many birds, but the hoatzin retains liquids for ca. 18 hr and solids for 24-48 hr, similar to retention times in sheep.’
- ‘He might even show you a hoatzin, otherwise known as the dinosaur bird, a blue-faced, ornately-mohawked creature bigger than a turkey, whose closest known relative became extinct 36 million years ago.’
- ‘The hoatzin, a tropical, pheasant-like bird found only in the Amazon rainforest, could be another victim of eco-tourism, which is not tightly controlled in the region.’
- ‘Entire avian families are essentially confined to the Neotropics, as are such unique species as screamers, trumpeters, sunbittern, hoatzin, and boat-billed heron.’
- ‘All these animals had acquired adaptations for quadrupedal climbing similar to those of the modern young hoatzin, a bird native to tropical South America.’
Mid 17th century: from American Spanish, from Nahuatl uatzin, probably imitative of its call.
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