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 ?
There are estimated to be 10 species of hammerheads in the waters off Florida, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
HammerHead strives to offer its customers a unique, comprehensive set of solutions for any rehabilitation or replacement project.
Hammerhead sharks, the scientist said, are among the most sensitive.
Hartwich said that aspect will be particularly important in order to get Hammerheads coffee roasting process certified organic by the U.
Hammerhead sharks regularly turn up at fish markets in the Gulf region, where they are valued for export to China where shark fin soup is a delicacy.
Five-metre-long great hammerhead, caught in Oman, brought to Dubai for better profits
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 arrival of the Scalloped Hammerheads follows committed efforts by the team at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo to bring more awareness and popularity for sharks in general through public display and interaction.
MARITIME documentary Oceans got off to a choppy start in the Sea of Cortez when the boat lost contact with diver Paul Rose (left) who was in 40ft of water looking for hammerhead sharks.
With iconic Hammerhead cranes disappearing for good with the closure of Swan Hunter's yard in Wallsend, Sharon Wilson has come up with a temporary - and rather glitzy - memorial to the hunks of metal.
The female hammerhead sharks may have signs of male "love bites," and these have also been observed on female scalloped hammerheads, but similar wounds have also been seen on males.