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Hoatzin

By Marla Lise




Hoatzin

Scientific Name: Opisthocomus hoazin

The hoatzin has to be one of the strangest birds found in the Amazon. This bird looks like a chicken and has more than one stomach, just like a cow! That explains why it is sometimes known as the ‘Flying Cow’.

This dinosaur-like bird gives off a strange reptile-like odor and makes a loud call. They are very clumsy when they fly with their large wings and small head.

‘Opisthocomus’, its Latin name, comes from the feathers that run down its back. They have a big claw on the end of their wings that they use to protect themselves. Hoatzin chicks are able to hide underwater to escape from predators, but adult birds cannot swim. Adults can lay 4-5 blue spotted eggs at a time.

These strange looking birds are sometimes killed for their meat and feathers but they are not considered endangered.

Hoatzins are strictly vegetarian, feeding on plants, flowers and fruits and are usually found in big groups near water bodies such as swamps and mangroves.

The hoatzin is the national bird of Guyana, a small country in northeastern South America.


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Animal profiles

Birds
Bare-Faced Ibis
Blue and Gold Macaw
Common Potoo
Green Honeycreeper
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Harpy Eagle
Hoatzin
Horned Screamer
Jabiru Stork
Malachite Kingfisher
Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

Mammals
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Bornean Rhino
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Coquerel's Sifaka
Crowned Lemur
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Howler Monkey
Kinkajou
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Malayan Tapir
Margay
Mountain Gorilla
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
Puma
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Spectral Tarsier
Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkeys
White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey


Reptiles
Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman


Amphibians
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
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