Thursday, 11 November 2010

Orange-footed scrubfowl

Megapodius reinwardt

Photo by Toby Hudson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
orange-footed scrubfowl (en); megápode de Reinwardt (pt); mégapode de Reinwardt (fr); talégala de Reinwardt (es); Reinwardthunhn (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Megapodiidae

This species occurs in southern New Guinea, in northern Australia and in some of the islands of Wallacea.

The orange-footed scrubfowl is 35-47 cm long. Males weigh 850-1200 g and females weigh 560-1200 g.

This species occurs in a range of habitats from sea-level to 1800 m, including lowland and mountain rainforest, swamp forest, mangroves, and more arid bushy or wooded areas near the coast. It is typically more frequent at lower altitudes and seems to adapt well to secondary scrub.

The orange-footed scrubfowl feeds on seeds, fallen fruit and terrestrial invertebrates.

Both parents build a very large incubation mound of decaying vegetable matter. These mounds can be up to 12 m across and 3,5 m high. Heat generated by the decaying humus provides the heat source for the incubation of the eggs. No parental care is provided for the chicks, who look after themselves entirely and are capable of flight shortly after digging themselves out of the incubation mound.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
With a population of 100.000 to 1.000.000 and a very large breeding range, this species is not considered threatened at present.

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