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Re: archaeopteryx/hoatzin

> I may be way off base here, but I seem to remember the hoatzin being 
>compared to archaeopteryx. If memory serves me, isn't the hoatzin a very 
>poor flier, spending much of its time climbing and hopping from branch to 
>branch? Also, aren't the young born with a couple of extra fingers for 
>climbing back into the nest after dropping into rivers to escape 
>predators? How valid is this comparison?
>Blaise Considine [bpc.apa@email.apa.org]
The comparison is not really too useful, except for noting that the two are
about the same size and build.  The young do not have "extra fingers" but
functional claws on their wings - certainly an independent development, as
hoatzins are no closer to Archaeopteryx than any other livinng bird.
Hoatzins are leaf eaters, not carnivores, and are indeed weak fliers (as are
many other birds, including domestic chickens).  They use their wings quite
a bit in display, and have a complicated social structure.  They are also
great fun to watch (as I have done at Hato Masaguaral, Venezuela)!
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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