Por que o Head não está no plural em "12,000 head of cattle"

Avatar do usuário anita 100 2
Hi, there. I was reading a text about the Gold Rush when I saw that certain guy "had 12,000 head of cattle". My question is: why isn't the word "head" in the plural form??? Is it a special use or something? Please, help!
Thank u!
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Avatar do usuário Marcio_Farias 12510 1 23 210
Hello anita. dictionary.com yielded, "10. a person or animal considered merely as one of a number, herd, or group: ten head of cattle." It apparently uses the word head in the singular.

So you can safely use the word in the singular, too.

Avatar do usuário Flavia.lm 3960 1 9 90
Macmillan confirma que a palavra 'head' usada neste contexto está no plural, ainda que sem o s

8[plural] used as a way of counting farm animals
300 head of cattle
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dict ... ad#head_25

Avatar do usuário anita 100 2
Wow, guys, that's news to me. Thank u so!

Avatar do usuário Henry Cunha 10050 3 16 178
It's a special use. I don't think there is any other similar case in English, so you just have to learn this one. Which is a good thing.

Btw, 12 heads of cattle would be the heads of 12 dead animals. Which might not be a good thing.