Palamedea cornuta Linneaus, 1766, eastern Brazil. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Kamichi cornu; German: Hornwehrvogel; Spanish: Chajб Aсuma.
Body length of 34–37 in (86–94 cm). Body is colored greenish black, with a white belly. A long, quill-like “horn” protrudes from its forehead.
Widespread but local in Amazonian regions of Venezuela, the Guianas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Inhabits wetlands in flooded tropical forest, such as oxbow lakes, marshes, and swamps. It occurs as high as about 3,300 ft (1,000 m).
Has an extremely loud and distinctive set of calls. It swims or walks on aquatic vegetation while feeding, and often roosts in shrubs and trees.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on aquatic vegetation.
Builds a nest of plant materials, floating but anchored among marsh vegetation. It lays two yellowish-white eggs, which are incubated by both parents. The down-covered young leave the nest almost immediately after hatching. Both parents care for the young.
Not threatened. Relatively widespread and abundant species, although decreasing in abundance where heavily hunted.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Hunted as a source of meat and sometimes kept in captivity.
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