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The animal on the cover of Using Samba, Third Edition, is an African ground hornbill (Bucorvus cafer). This type of bird is one of 50 hornbill species. The African ground hornbill is a medium- to large-size bird characterized by a bright red waddle under a very long beak, dark-colored body and wings, long eyelashes, and short legs. Like all hornbills, it has a casque, a large but lightweight growth on the top of its beak, which grows more folds as the bird ages. It is the only ground-dwelling species of hornbill, though it is able to fly when necessary. It lives in the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa and nests in the foliage of dense trees, not in nest holes in the ground as other hornbills do. Its diet includes mostly fruit, as well as large insects and small mammals. The African ground hornbill is considered sacred by many Africans, and, as such, this bird is part of many legends and superstitions.
The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed.