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 Avidiversity  AVITOPIA - Hoatzins

Scientific system: Howard et al.

Familia: Opisthocomidae

You can get "Checklist of the Hoatzins of Planet Earth" as an e-book here.


The only species of the family of Hoatzins is native to the banks of the Orinoco and Amazon river systems. The body length is between 62 cm and 70 cm. The bird has a small head, a long neck and a long tail. The flight muscles are greatly reduced, so that Hoatzins can only fly badly. What is striking is a crested up to 8 cm long, which is almost constantly erect. The feet have three toes pointing forward and one pointing backwards, but they are rarely used for locomotion. Their habitat is the tropical lowland rainforest. They eat leaves and fruits almost exclusively and their unique digestive system specializes in them. The goiter and esophagus are greatly enlarged to form a foregut, and this foregut is endowed with microbes that allow plant matter to be digested, similar to the digestion of ruminants. Hoatzins usually build their nests above water so that the nestlings can instinctively drop into the water in case of danger. The young animals have claws on their wrists and use them to climb back into the nest.

Opisthocomus

     hoazin - Hoatzin (11)

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