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Turkey (bird)

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata /td>
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Meleagrididae
Genus: Meleagris
Meleagris gallopavo
Meleagris ocellata
Reference: 176135 (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=176135)
as of 2002-08-17
A turkey is one of two species of large birds in the gamebird family with fan-shaped tails and wattled necks. They are commonly domesticated and used for poultry.

The species are the North American Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, and the Central American Ocellated Turkey, Agriocharis ocellata.

Although the domesticated turkey has been deemed foolish and easily confused, the North American Wild Turkey is a game animal of considerable cunning. With its wingspan of 5 ft (1.8 m), this turkey is also by far the largest bird in the open forests in which it lives, and is rarely mistaken for any other.

It has been speculated that the Central American species is more tractable and was the source of the present domesticated stock.

When Europeans first encountered turkeys in the Americas, they incorrectly identified it with the African Helmeted Guineafowl[?] (Numida meleagris), also known as the turkey-cock from its importation to Europe through Turkey, and the name stuck. It remains also in the scientific name: meleagris is Greek for guinea-fowl.

This group is related to other members of the gamebird family as follows.

Order: Galliformes

The buttonquails are sometimes given order status as the Turniciformes.

The "Australian turkey" Choriotis australis is more accurately a bustard.

Larger Large White turkey female

Larger Large White turkey male

Larger turkeys

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