Junglefowl

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Junglefowl
Temporal range:
Late Miocene-Holocene
Stavenn Gallus varius 0.jpg
Green junglefowl, (Gallus varius) cock
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Phasianinae
Genus: Gallus
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Phasianus gallus
Linnaeus, 1758
Species
  • Gallus gallus
  • Gallus lafayetii
  • Gallus sonneratii
  • Gallus varius

Junglefowl are the four living species of bird from the genus Gallus in the Gallinaceous bird order, which occur in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

These are large birds, with colourful male plumage, but are nevertheless difficult to see in the dense vegetation they inhabit.

As with many birds in the pheasant family, the male takes no part in the incubation of the egg or rearing of the precocial young, these duties are performed by the drab and well-camouflaged female.

The junglefowl are seed-eaters, but insects are also taken, particularly by the young birds.

One of the species in this genus, the red junglefowl, is of historical importance as the likely ancestor of the domesticated chicken, although it has been suggested the grey junglefowl was also involved.[1]

The Sri Lankan junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

Taxonomy[edit]

The genus Gallus was erected by the French scientist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in his Ornithologie published in 1760.[2] The type species is the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus).[3] The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus had introduced the genus Gallus in the 6th edition of his Systema Naturae published in 1748,[4] but Linnaeus dropped the genus in the important tenth edition of 1758 and put the red junglefowl together with the common pheasant in the genus Phasianus.[5][6] As the publication date of Linnaeus's sixth edition was before the 1758 starting point of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, Brisson and not Linnaeus is considered as the authority for the genus.[7]

The genus contains four species:[8]

Prehistorically, the genus Gallus was found all over Eurasia; in fact it appears to have evolved in southeastern Europe. Several fossil species have been described, but their distinctness is not firmly established in all cases:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eriksson, J.; et al. (2008). "Identification of the yellow skin gene reveals a hybrid origin of the domestic chicken". PLoS Genetics. 4 (2). e1000010. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000010Freely accessible. 
  2. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 1. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. Vol. 1, p. 26, Vol. 1, p. 166. 
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 118. 
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1748). Systema Naturae sistens regna tria naturae, in classes et ordines, genera et species redacta tabulisque aeneis illustrata (in Latin) (6th ed.). Stockholmiae (Stockholm): Godofr, Kiesewetteri. pp. 16, 28. 
  5. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturæ per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 158. 
  6. ^ Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335. 
  7. ^ "Article 3". International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th ed.). London: International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. 1999. ISBN 978-0-85301-006-7. 
  8. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Pheasants, partridges & francolins". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  • Steve Madge; Philip J. K. McGowan; Guy M. Kirwan (2002). Pheasants, Partidges and Grouse: A Guide to the Pheasants, Partridges, Quails, Grouse, Guineafowl, Buttonquails and Sandgrouse of the World. A&C Black. ISBN 978-0-7136-3966-7.