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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Mid 17th century: from American Spanish, from Nahuatl uatzin, probably imitative of its call.
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