The Hoatzin

Weird and Wonderful!

ArchaeopteryxIn the Amazon forests of South America lives a strange bird called the hoatzin. It lives beside the riverbanks and eats leaves and fruit. The mother hoatzin builds her nest in trees or bushes which hang over the water, and when the baby birds hatch, they have claws on their wings! This is very unusual as very few birds have these claws, but to the baby hoatzin they are very necessary.

Sometimes, before the baby birds have learnt to fly, another creature attacks their nest. When this happens, the baby hoatzins can jump out of their nest into the water. Then they swim to the bank and climb back into their nest, using their wing claws to help them! Without these special claws they would not be able to reach the nest again and so would probably die.Young Hoatzins (left - front) - Adult Hoatzin (right - back)

Where did the hoatzins' wing claws come from? Did they slowly evolve? This seems impossible, because without them it would be very dangerous for the baby birds to jump into the water, as they would not be able to get back to their nest. And if they were not able to jump into the water how could they escape from their enemies? Those wing claws must have been there right from the beginning, created by God for the birds' safety.

It is interesting to note that fossils of a bird with claws on its wings have been found. This fossil bird is called Archaeopteryx. Evolutionists say that the wing claws of archaeopteryx show us that birds evolved from reptiles. This is a strange idea as archaeopteryx was a true bird - just as the hoatzin is - and like the hoatzin it must have had wing claws because it needed them! They were not leftovers from any 'reptile ancestor'.

There is another very interesting fact about the hoatzins: when they learn to fly they lose those special wing claws, because they don't need them anymore! This looks like some more wonderful planning by God the Creator, not an accident of evolution!

by Geoff Chapman

Source: 'Creation Ex-Nihilo: Our World'