Continuing with the theme of stinky animals, did you know there is a bird that stinks so bad that it's often called the stinkbird? The hoatzin (pronounced hoh-AT-sin) lives in the tropics of the Amazon Basin. It's smelly, but unlike a skunk, it doesn't use the smell as a defense from predators. It simply stinks because of what it eats and how it processes its food.
The hoatzin is unusual in that it is one of the few birds that almost exclusively eats leaves. Because of its diet, the hoatzin has developed an unusual digestive system. The hoatzin is the only bird that has a huge crop specialized for fermentation of the leaves it eats. This crop is so large that there is hardly enough room for the bird's flight muscles, making it a very weak flyer.
This leaf-fermentation process produces extremely stinky substances, which permeate the bird's entire body. Therefore, the entire bird has a nasty, manure-like smell. Because of this odor, the hoatzin is never hunted for food by native people unless they are literally starving.
- Hoatzin - DepositPhotos
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