hammerhead

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hammerhead,

common name for a heavy-looking, heronlike bird, Scopus umbretta. Its plumage is brown with light and dark glossy, purplish streaks on the wings and body. It has short legs, partially webbed feet, and a heavy, wide, moderately long, black bill. Its stiff, backward-pointing crest, along with its peculiar bill, give its head a hammer-shaped appearance. Both sexes are similarly arrayed. Long-winged and long-tailed, the hammerhead, or hammerkop (as it is called in Africa), may reach a body length of 20 in. (51 cm). It is an inhabitant of the marshes and mangrove swamps of southern Arabia, Africa, and Madagascar, where it feeds primarily on aquatic animals, such as water insects, small fish, and amphibians. It often perches on the back of hippopotamuses, searching for frogs. Hammerheads reside singly, in pairs, or in small flocks, near water and seldom far from trees, in the forks of which they build intricate domed nests, some 3 to 6 ft (91.5–183 cm) or more in diameter. The nests, to which the birds return each year, are complex, three-compartmented structures, lined with mud and dung, and ornamented outside with bright-colored objects. The female lays a clutch of three to six white eggs. Both sexes care for the highly dependent young. According to native superstitions, hammerheads are evil omens, and it is considered bad luck to harm them. Such superstitions have kept the birds somewhat protected. Hammerheads are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Ciconiiformes, family Scopidae.

hammerhead

[′ham·ər‚hed]
(design engineering)
The striking part of a hammer.

hammerhead

1. any shark of the genus Sphyrna and family Sphyrnidae, having a flattened hammer-shaped head
2. a heavily built tropical African wading bird, Scopus umbretta, related to the herons, having a dark plumage and a long backward-pointing crest: family Scopidae, order Ciconiiformes
3. a large African fruit bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus, with a large square head and hammer-shaped muzzle
References in periodicals archive ?
From hammerheads of the Galapagos to threshers in the Philippines, sharks are incredibly popular attractions for divers," noted Ania Budziak of Project AWARE .
Along with more room, the move will give Hartwich and Burwell better control over the safety, security and design of Hammerheads physical location, something they have not had at Greenes Corner.
Hammerheads near the coast of Florida grow up to around 19 feet.
The four-day 'Shark Conservation In Arabia' workshop is a precursor to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Thailand next year at which submissions will be made on banning trade in Porbeagle sharks, Oceanic Whitetips, two types of Manta rays, and Hammerhead sharks.
Scalloped hammerheads, classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Endangered, are heavily fished, even as pups, and "very often" finned, according to IOTC scientists.
Greater hammerheads are critically endangered and shark fishing is banned from January to April.
FACTFILE The scalloped hammerhead shark is the third largest of the eight species of hammerhead shark.
In addition to showing that small hammerheads evolved from a large ancestor, the team showed that the "signature" cephalofoils of hammerheads underwent divergent evolution in different lineages over time, likely due to selective environmental pressures, said Martin.
The captivating Scalloped Hammerheads, named so for the hammer-like projection on its head bearing their eyes and nostrils at the tips of each extension, are the latest addition to the shark family at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
Rose moans: "It felt like it was all there, but no hammerheads.
Hammerheads consist of a steel-braced tower on which revolves a large, horizontal, double cantilever.
ADELEGATION from Wilmington travelled up to Raleigh yesterday morning to meet representatives of Sunderland and announce that, in honour of the Black Cats, next Wednesday will be forever more be known as Hammerheads Day.