Week ninety-nine: MEGAPODE (probability 13022), by David Sutton

A MEGAPODE (or MEGAPOD) is any of twelve species of Australasian gallinaceous (turkey-like) birds of the order Galliformes which are unique among birds in burying their eggs in order to incubating, some relying on the heat of fermenting vegetable matter, others on solar heat or even the heat produced by volcanic steam. The name means 'big foot'.

In Australia, the megapod is known as the MOUNDBIRD or LOWAN, another name being MALLEE fowl from the fact that it inhabits mallee, or scrub, vegetation of southern interior Australia.

Another member of the megapodes is the TALEGALLA, or brush turkey. This name derives from the Malagasy taleva, the purple coot, plus Latin gallus, meaning cock.


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