The Hoatzin

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Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 08:30 AM

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The Hoatzin

The Hoatzin (Ophistomocus Hoatzin) is very rare and not particularly popular in it’s neighborhood. The locals even call it 'stink-bird' because it smells pretty foul.

If you in an evening find yourself in a heated discussion with a group of redeemed Christians who still believe God has made it all up – and of course we all do that invariably now and then – name the hoatzin.

Then they will all muzzle.

Because the hoatzin is probably one of the dimmest, ugliest and clumsiest creatures that have set it’s hooked feet upon this very earth.

The rare bird is about half a meter long and lives in the trees, which dangles above South America’s Amazon River.

It looks like a chicken that is washed at 60 degrees without Snuggle, and it’s so obviously stupid that most biologists leans to the theory that the hoatzin belongs to its own group, which has stopped its development for scores of tens millions of years ago.

Unlike normal birds it digests in the craw in the throat, which for that reason is almost extravagant developed. It has the amusing side effect that the hoatzin falls forward when it has been eating. Thus it stands, supportive on the pectoral bone, until the body has done its job.

It cannot fly, at least not properly. It looks like Hell. Therefore it has developed another weapon in the fight for survival: if something or someone threats a hoatzin, whether it has bowled over or not – it keels into the river and drifts away, until it drifts into a branch, it can climb up.

There is not much more to say about the hoatzin.

You begin to love the poor creature.

And perhaps that is the will of God?

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