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Anonymous asked:

i know your more of a lizard person, but do you like birds at all? any favorites?


hell yeah todays a bird night lets talk about birds

one of my favorite birds, besides pigeons and that bride of frankenstein duck and the bird that collects blue things and Very Small Birds of Prey is the hoatzin


this bird lives in the amazon rainforest, and is about the size of a small pheasant. now im all for this bird just based on its 80s glam rocker down on their luck looks, but its also got a few other things going for it, like how  its the only species of bird that subsists entirely on leaves. just leaves and occasionally fruit, all day and nothing else


their digestive systems have adapted to this diet with a larger, ridged crop used to break down the plant materials , AND as a side effect they tend to smell like cow manure or rotting hay, earning them the nickname stinkbird. nothing really wants to eat something called stinkbird - the biggest thing these guys have to worry about is deforestation (which admittedly is a pretty big thing)

the adaptions theyve made in order to eat all these leaves though has left them pretty poor flyers, and since the leaves they consume take a long time to digest, almost 80 percent of their day is spent being a huge smelly lump in a tree, hanging out with up to 30 other bright smelly lumps and calling out periodically with hisses, whistles, screeches, and shrieks


now whats REALLY GREAT about these birds is that their chicks, awkward gangly balls of grey fluff that spend most of their early lives climbing trees, are born with claws at the end of their wings


the claws fall off after about three months, and are used in aiding the little thing in hoisting itself up after jumping into a river to escape a predator (because theyre actually pretty good swimmers, go figure), or just getting getting itself stable on a branch, but CLAW WINGS

now this and a lot of other factors have made the hoatzin extremely difficult to class in relation to other birds - its been suggested that theyre closest relatives are doves and cuckoos, but several attempts at dna sequencing have suggested otherwise, and its still up in the air. as a result its become the only member of the genus opisthocomus, (which is actually really greek for “wearing long hair behind”) 

so who knows whats up with this bird ! the hoatzin sure doesnt care. all it wants is to sit around and eat with its bird buds, a philosophy i agree with greatly

(photos from x x x x x)

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