A partial history of the turkey (Podcast)

"As Thanksgiving ebbs into memory and Christmas looms on the horizon, Eat This Podcast concerns itself with the turkey. For a nomenclature nerd, the turkey is a wonderful bird. Why would a bird from America be named after a country on the edge of Asia? The Latin name offers a clue; the American turkey is Meleagris gallopavo, while the African guineafowl is Numida meleagris. But why did the first settlers adopt a name they were already familiar with, rather than adopt a local indigenous name such as nalaaohki pileewa for the native fowl. Simple answer: nobody knows..."

Listen to the podcast (with extensive notes) here...

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Even still, we tend to think of the turkey as a fairly unintelligent bird, skilled at little more than waddling around, emitting the occasional "gobble," and frying up golden-brown-and-delicious. But...what if I told you that the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) could actually be quite clever…
In honor of our most beloved Thanksgiving dinner guest: Despite their rather large stature, ranging from 2.5-10.8 kg, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) can fly as seen in this video: For more information about turkeys:Cornell Lab of Ornithology
tags: Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, Manhattan, Kansas, birds, Image of the Day Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, seen at Fancy Creek and Randolph - North end of Tuttle Creek Reservoir in Kansas. Image: Dave Rintoul, KSU. [larger view].
This is the time of year that we rightfully contemplate the noble Turkey. The very first thing we notice about this large member of the Galliformes is that there is a wild version and a domestic version, and although the two are rather different, they are both given the same species name, Meleagris…

Those wishing to oogle the original, Maya sort of turkey
in all its oscillating dayglow glory should take themselves to Tikal and stick around till closing time, when, the scary tourists having departed, the ceremonial plaza turns into a strutting ground for the creatures ( the turkeys, that is .)

By RussellS eitz (not verified) on 02 Dec 2014 #permalink