Turkey (bird)

genus of large ground-feeding birds native to the Americas

Turkeys are birds in the genus Meleagris. They are like a chicken but much bigger. Wild turkeys live in forests in North America and Central America. In the United States, people traditionally eat turkey on the holiday of Thanksgiving.

Temporal range: 23–0 Ma Early Miocene – Recent
Wild turkey
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Meleagridinae
Genus: Meleagris
Linnaeus, 1758
Meleagris gallopavo

This genus has two species:

Naming Edit

When people from Europe first saw turkeys in the Americas they thought the birds were a type of guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). This bird had been brought to central Europe from the country of Turkey. The name of that country stuck as the name of the bird.[1]

The confusion with the name is also seen in the scientific name: meleagris is Greek for guinea-fowl.

References Edit

  1. Messenger, Stephen (23 November 2010). "Naming of the Turkey". How an American Bird Got the Name 'Turkey'. The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2016.

Other websites Edit

  Media related to Meleagris at Wikimedia Commons