screamer


screamer
/skree"meuhr/, n.
1. a person or thing that screams.
2. Informal. something or someone causing screams of excitement, laughter, or the like.
3. Print. Slang. an exclamation point.
4. Journalism.
a. a sensational headline.
b. banner (def. 7). Cf. scarehead.
5. Baseball Slang. an extremely hard-hit line drive.
6. Ornith. any of several South American birds of the family Anhimidae, having a harsh, trumpeting call. Cf. horned screamer.
[1705-15; SCREAM + -ER1]

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▪ bird family
      any of three species of South American waterfowl constituting the family Anhimidae (order Anseriformes). The group derives its name from its raucous, far-carrying cry.

      Screamers are birds 75 cm (30 inches) high that inhabit marshes, where they feed gregariously on water plants and make reed nests. They can soar for hours at great heights. With their dark, plump bodies, ringed necks, and chickenlike bills, screamers look like long-legged pheasants but are in fact akin to geese. Their anatomy is most peculiar. Screamers are one of the two groups of living birds lacking prongs on the ribs (uncinate processes). The skeleton is the most pneumatic known—even its outermost toe bones are hollow—and the skin contains a system of tiny air sacs, uniquely the source of crackling sounds. A screamer's feathers do not grow in distinct tracts with bare skin between but cover the body (legs excepted) completely—a condition shared only by the penguins and other large flightless birds. The bird is armed with a pair of sizable bony forward-pointing spikes near the bend of each wing.

      The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta), of northern South America, has a slender, forward-curving, calcified spike on its forehead. The crested screamer, or chaja (a name that comes from its cry; Chauna torquata), of open country in east-central South America, and the black-necked screamer (C. chavaria), of Colombia and Venezuela, have hind crests of feathers.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Screamer — Scream er (skr[=e]m [ e]r), n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of three species of South American birds constituting the family {Anhimid[ae]}, and the suborder {Palamede[ae]}. They have two spines on each wing, and the head is either crested or horned. They… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Screamer —   [englisch, skriːmə(r)], Verzerrer …   Universal-Lexikon

  • screamer — [skrēm′ər] n. 1. a person who screams ☆ 2. Slang a sensational headline 3. Printing Slang an exclamation point 4. any of a primitive family (Anhimidae) of South American birds (order Anseriformes) having long toes and a bill like a chicken s …   English World dictionary

  • Screamer — Taxobox name = Screamers image width = 240px image caption = Crested Screamers ( Chauna torquata ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves subclassis = Neornithes infraclassis = Galloanserae ordo = Anseriformes familia = Anhimidae… …   Wikipedia

  • screamer — In standard English screamer variously denotes: 1. one who screams; 2. a type of bird; 3. a story that arouses screams of laughter; 4. a very funny person or thing; 5. an outstanding specimen of anything and, 6. (in the US) a sensational headline …   Australian idioms

  • Screamer — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • screamer — 1. n. a newspaper headline. □ Did you see the screamer in the paper today? “The King Died.” □ I never read screamers. 2. n. an exclamation point. (Printing.) □ Put a screamer at the end of the line. □ …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

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  • screamer — /ˈskrimə / (say skreemuh) noun 1. someone or something that screams. 2. Colloquial someone or something causing screams of astonishment, mirth, etc. 3. Printing Colloquial an exclamation mark. 4. Australian Rules Colloquial a very high mark: to… …   Australian English dictionary


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