- Genus: Opisthocomus
- Size: 70 cm
- Diet: Plants, fruits, flowers
Hoatzin Facts: The hoatzin is a very strange bird. Their closest relatives are the cuckoos although the two look nothing alike. They are a chicken sized bird with a large crest of long, dark red feathers on their small heads, a reddish-brown feather covered body, and a long black tail. Hoatzins are mainly found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins.
Similarity to Prehistoric Birds
Hoatzins have two large claws on each wing. The baby hoatzin uses these to leave the nest before it can fly, climbing through thick vegetation. The hoatzin claws are similar to those found on a famous ancient fossil named Archaeopteryx.
Defense, Digestion and Movement
If threatened, the hoatzin bird often plunges into water to escape predators. An interesting fact is that they are the only bird to digest vegetation by fermentation, much like a cow. Although they can fly awkwardly over short distances, they spend much of their lives perched. When they need to move, they simply hop from branch to branch.
More Rainforest Animals
Back to Birds
1. Benefits of conservation
2. Why are rainforests so diverse?
3. Where are rainforests?