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 ?
Gordon Rocks, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Located about an hour from Puerto Ayora, this dive site close to Plazas Islands includes four smaller dive sites to take in marine life, including hammerhead sharks who often appear here in large schools, as well as reef fish, stingrays, turtles and sea lions.
At the plenary convened Thursday, Japan, together with China and other countries, made unsuccessful attempts to reopen debate on the oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks.
The recommendations include porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two types of manta rays.
I'd just been on the Galapagos Islands, diving with hammerhead sharks," she says.
Earlier, Palfrey's support team reported that she had suffered "constant" jellyfish stings overnight and that her mouth was "very sore and painful" while a school of hammerhead sharks was briefly sighted below her.
Shark-fin demand has led to a surge in the taking of shark giants such as the six-metre long Great Hammerhead sharks -- the largest of their kind -- from the relative shallows of Oman.
Kaffe Matthews, meanwhile, produced a three-dimensional sound piece inspired by the route taken by hammerhead sharks as they trace Earth's magnetic map.
The sea around the island boasts an abundance of sharks, including the white tipped reef shark, enormous whale sharks, and scalloped hammerhead sharks.
New species are regularly added to the aquatic animal community with recent additions being the exquisite Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and Silver Tip Sharks.
Common catches include lemon sharks, as well as Cuban night and hammerhead sharks.
Shark populations around the world are crashing; some species such as scalloped hammerhead sharks have declined up to 98% according to fisheries surveys.
Open to all PADI certified divers, 'speciality dives' will treat the adventurous, in Dive 1, to a swimming session with sand tiger sharks, reef sharks, rays and the newest members of the aquarium aquatic family, the scalloped hammerhead sharks and silvertip sharks.