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Record: oai:ARNO:508624

AuthorC.G. Young
TitleOn the habits and anatomy of Opisthocomus cristatus, Illig
JournalNotes from the Leyden Museum
AbstractThis bird is known also as the stinking pheasant, anna, stinking anna, and van Batenburg’s turkey — after a Dutch Governor of years gone by. It gets the name »stinking’ from the peculiar smell, like fresh cow-dung, that comes from its crop or stomach or both, for when the skin is preserved it possesses no smell, and the body when the inside has been removed is quite sweet. Notwithstanding the possibility of removing the smell by removing the bowels, it is never used as food; consequently it passes its time in peace and plenty.
It is found in only one place in this country viz. the Berbice River and one of its branches, the Oanje Creek, living together in great numbers on the low bushes that border these waters, especially on a „pimpler” Dreponocarpus lunatus) that stretches its branches over the muddy water and rises and falls with the tide. Any day in the year they can be seen sitting side by side like love-birds on the branches of this shrub or on the low trees behind them. They fly from twig to twig and although I have seen these birds every day for the last six years, I have never seen them extend their flight beyond twenty or thirty yards at one time, and never once saw them on the ground. This inactivity is not the result of inability, for their wings are well developed, and their legs and feet are strong. They never leave the river side, and their food is the leaves and seeds of this „pimpler” and of a plant that grows in the water, a kind of gigantic cuckoo pint, called at home „lords and ladies”, in this country called »Mucca-Mucca” ( Caladium arborescens). I may mention in passing that there is not a puddle of water in the Colony in which this Caladium is not found, and Dreponocarpus lunatus fringes every river and creek in the country.
Document typearticle
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