|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Megapodiidae.|
This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Megapodiidae.|
This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.
1. Megapode – The megapodes, also known as incubator birds or mound-builders, are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet in the family Megapodiidae. Their name literally means large foot, and is a reference to the heavy legs, all are browsers, and all but the malleefowl occupy wooded habitats. Most are brown or black colored, megapodes are superprecocial, hatching from their eggs in the most mature condition of any birds. They hatch with open eyes, bodily coordination and strength, full wing feathers and downy body feathers, and are able to run, pursue prey, megapodes are medium-sized to large terrestrial birds with large legs and feet with sharp claws. They range from 28 to 70 cm, the largest members of the clade are the species of Alectura and Talegalla. The smallest are the Micronesian scrubfowl and the Moluccan scrubfowl and they have small heads, short beaks, and rounded and large wings. Their flying abilities vary within the clade and they present the hallux at the same level of the other toes just like the species of the clade Cracidae. The other Galliformes have their halluces raised above the level of the front toes. The distribution of the family has contracted in the Pacific with the arrival of humans, and a number of groups such as Fiji, Tonga. Megapodes are mainly solitary birds that do not incubate their eggs with their body heat as other birds do and their eggs are unusual in having a large yolk, making up 50–70% of the egg weight. The birds are best known for building massive nest-mounds of decaying vegetation, however, some bury their eggs in other ways, there are burrow-nesters which use geothermal heat, and others which simply rely on the heat of the sun warming sand. Some species vary their incubation strategy depending on the local environment, recent research suggests an instinctive visual recognition of specific movement patterns is made by the individual species of megapode. Similar to other birds, they hatch fully feathered and active, already able to fly. Eggs previously assigned to Genyornis have been reassigned to giant megapode species, a lot of the dietary and chronological data previously assigned to dromornithids may instead be consigned to the giant megapodes. The more than 20 living species are in seven genera, although the evolutionary relationships between the Megapodiidae are especially uncertain, the morphological groups are clear, Living Megapodiidae based on the work by John Boyd. Andamanensis Walter 1980 nomen dubium †M. burnabyi Gray 1861 nomen dubium †Raoul Island scrubfowl, †New Ireland scrubfowl, M. sp. tenimberensis from the Oriental Bird Club
2. Galliformes – The name derives from gallus, Latin for cock or rooster. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds, wildfowl or just fowl are also often used for the Galliformes, but usually these terms also refer to waterfowl, and occasionally to other commonly hunted birds. This group has about 290 species, one or more of which are found in every part of the worlds continents. They are rarer on islands, and in contrast to the closely related waterfowl, are absent from oceanic islands—unless introduced there by humans. Several species have been domesticated during their long and extensive relationships with humans and this order contains five families, Phasianidae, Odontophoridae, Numididae, Cracidae, and Megapodiidae. They are important as seed dispersers and predators in the ecosystems they inhabit, many gallinaceous species are skilled runners and escape predators by running rather than flying. Males of most species are more colorful than the females, males often have elaborate courtship behaviors that include strutting, fluffing of tail or head feathers, and vocal sounds. The living Galliformes were once divided into seven or more families, despite their distinctive appearance, grouse and turkeys probably do not warrant separation as families due to their recent origin from partridge- or pheasant-like birds. The turkeys became larger after their ancestors colonized temperate and subtropical North America, the ancestors of grouse, though, adapted to harsh climates and could thereby colonize subarctic regions. Consequently, the Phasianidae are expanded in current taxonomy to include the former Tetraonidae and Meleagrididae as subfamilies, the Anseriformes and the Galliformes together make up the Galloanserae. They are basal among the living birds, and normally follow the Paleognathae in modern bird classification systems. This was first proposed in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy and has been the one major change of that proposed scheme that was almost universally adopted. However, the Galliformes as they were traditionally delimited are called Gallomorphae in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy and this is not a natural group, however, but rather an erroneous result of the now-obsolete phenetic methodology employed in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy. Phenetic studies do not distinguish between plesiomorphic and apomorphic characters, which leads to basal lineages appearing as monophyletic groups, historically, the buttonquails, mesites and the hoatzin were placed in the Galliformes, too. The former are now known to be adapted to an inland lifestyle, whereas the mesites are probably closely related to pigeons. The relationships of the hoatzin are entirely obscure, and it is treated as a monotypic order Opisthocomiformes to signify this. The earliest galliform-like fossils hail from the Late Cretaceous, most notably those of Austinornis lentus and its partial left tarsometatarsus was found in the Austin Chalk near Fort McKinney, Texas, dating to about 85 million years ago. This bird was quite closely related to Galliformes, but whether it was a part of these or belongs elsewhere in the little-known galliform branch of Galloanserae is not clear
3. Australian brushturkey – The Australian brushturkey has also been introduced to Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It is the largest extant representative of the family Megapodiidae and is one of three species to inhabit Australia. Despite its name and their similarities, the bird is not closely related to American turkeys, or to the Australian bustard. It is a bird with black feathers and a red head. Its total length is about 60–75 cm and a wingspan of about 85 cm, the subspecies A. l. purpureicollis from the northern Cape York Peninsula is smaller than the more widespread nominate subspecies. It has a prominent, fan-like tail flattened sideways, and its plumage is blackish, but with a bare red head. The males wattle becomes much larger during breeding season, often swinging from side to side as they run, the males heads and wattles also become much brighter during the breeding and nesting season. The underside of the body is sprinkled with white feathers, more pronounced in older birds. The brushturkey is a flier and cannot fly long distances, only taking to the air when threatened by predators or to roost in trees at night. They build large nests on the ground made of leaves, other material and earth,1 to 1.5 metres high. Mound-building is done by a dominant male, and visited by a succession of local females, the male works tirelessly, collecting material from all around, and also diligently repelling rival males, who are keen to usurp his position. The effort involved eventually wears him down, and he will ultimately be defeated by a new king, the eggs are very large, and the young are fully-fledged on hatching. They can fly within hours, as soon as the feathers are dry, the Australian brushturkey checks the temperature by sticking its beak into the mound. The sex ratio in brushturkeys is equal at incubation temperatures of 34 °C and it is unclear whether the parents use this to manipulate the sex of their offspring by, for instance, selecting the nesting site accordingly. Warmer incubation also results in heavier, fitter chicks, but how this is linked to gender is also unknown, the same nesting site is frequently used year after year, with the old nests being added to each breeding season. The average clutch of eggs is between 16 and 24 large white eggs, which are laid September to March, sometimes up to 50 eggs laid by several females may be found in a single mound. The eggs are placed in a circle roughly 60–80 cm down, 20–30 cm apart, the newly hatched young dig themselves out of the mound and then have to care for themselves. Brushturkey eggs are a food of goannas, snakes, and also dingoes
4. Maleo – The maleo is a large megapode and the only member of the monotypic genus Macrocephalon. The maleo is endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and it is found in the tropical lowland and hill forests, but nests in the open sandy areas, volcanic soils or beaches that are heated by the sun or geothermal energy for incubation. The maleo ranges from 55–60 cm long with blackish plumage, bare facial skin, reddish-brown iris, reddish-orange beak. The crown is ornamented with a black helmet casque, the greyish blue feet have four long sharp claws, separated by a membranous web. The sexes are almost identical with a smaller and duller female. Juveniles have largely brownish and paler heads with short blackish-brown crests, the maleos egg is large, about five times as large as that of the domestic chickens. The female lays and covers each egg in a hole in the sand. After the eggs hatch, the young birds work their way up through the sand, the young birds are able to fly and are totally independent. They must find food and defend themselves from such as monitor lizard, reticulated python, wild pig. The maleo is monogamous, and members of a pair stay close to each all the time. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds, mollusks, ants, termites, beetles and this species is endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It is usually not present on altitudes exceeding 1,000 meters, ideal nesting locations include river banks, lake shores, and coastal areas of the island. Maleo birds breed all year round, but peak breeding season varies depending upon the location on the island, when prepared to lay her eggs, the female maleo bird, accompanied by her mate, will leave the cover of Sulawesian forest in search of historic coastal breeding grounds. Females can lay anywhere between 8-12 eggs over the course of a year, once an optimal spot is chosen, the maleo dig a deep hole and lay the egg inside. After the egg is laid, the parents bury the egg securely in sand, after the egg has been securely buried, the parents leave and never return, leaving the maleo chick to fend for itself. The hot sand of Sulawesi acts as an incubator for maleo eggs, a maleo chick is completely self-sufficient only hours after hatching. For this reason, maleo eggs are approximately five times the size of a domestic chicken’s and it must dig its way up through the sand immediately after birth, and subsequently has the ability to fly and feed itself. A large number of nesting sites have been abandoned as a result of egg poaching
5. Moluccan megapode – The Moluccan megapode, also known as Wallaces scrubfowl, Moluccan scrubfowl or painted megapode, is a small, approximately 31 cm long, olive-brown megapode. The genus Eulipoa is monotypic, but the Moluccan megapode is sometimes placed in Megapodius instead, both sexes are similar with an olive-brown plumage, bluish-grey below, white undertail coverts, brown iris, bare pink facial skin, bluish-yellow bill and dark olive legs. There are light grey stripes on reddish-maroon feathers on its back, the young has brownish plumage, a black bill, legs and hazel iris. An Indonesian endemic, the Moluccan megapode is confined to hill and mountain forests on the Maluku Islands of Halmahera, Buru, Seram, Ambon, Ternate, Haruku and it also found on Misool Island in West Papua province. The Moluccan megapode is the only known to lay its eggs nocturnally. The nesting grounds are located in sun-exposed beach or volcanic soils. Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range and overhunting in some areas, the Moluccan megapode is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species