THE RHINOCEROS HORNBILLby@scientificamerican

THE RHINOCEROS HORNBILL

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There are many strange and wonderful forms among the feathered tribes; but there are, perhaps, none which more astonish the beholder who sees them for the first time than the group of birds known by the name of hornbills. They are all distinguished by a very large beak, to which is added a singular helmet-like appendage, equaling in size the beak itself in some species, while in others it is so small as to attract but little notice. On account of the enormous size of the beak and helmet, the bird appears to be overweighted by the mass of horny substance which it has to carry, but on closer investigation the whole structure is found to be singularly light and yet very strong, the whole interior being composed of numerous honeycombed cells with very thin walls and wide spaces, the walls being so arranged as to give very great strength when the bill is used for biting, and with a very slight expenditure of material.
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