View Full Version : For Thanksgiving, Let's All Learn About Turkeys!

11-22-2007, 03:44 AM
What you might not have known about turkeys. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkeys)

This is just some of the information that's out there. In this thread, we will compile our combined wisdom into SirStevesGuideToTurkeys! I know it is just what you've been waiting for.

A turkey is either one of two species of large birds in the genus Meleagris native to North America. Turkeys are classed in the order Galliformes.

To classify a lifeform you go:

Kingdom (animal or plant?)
Order - Galiformes - in the case of turkeys as noted above
Family -
Genus - such as feline (cats for example, includes lions and house pets)
Species - specific type (duch as domestic - obviously a house cat)

Maybe one of you with even more biological information can fill in the ways in which these categories make distinctions. One of the earliest I recall is vertebrate or invertebrate. A turkey is obviously a vertebrate.

Anyway, turkeys have a distinctive fleshy carbuncle that hangs from the beak, called a snood. As with many galliform species, the female is smaller than the male, and much less colorful. With wingspans of 1.51.8 meters (almost 6 feet), the turkeys are by far the largest birds in the open forests in which they live, and are rarely mistaken for any other species. The usual lifespan for a turkey is 10 years. The fleshy protuberance attached to the underside of the beak is known as a "wattle".

Now if the regular lifespan of a turkey is 10 years, can't we spare turkeys who are 8 or younger and just fix the ones 9 or older for Thanksgiving? Perhaps we need a moratorium on Thanksgiving for several years in order to let the maturing turkey population recover? We could start in 2008 and instead of Thanksgiving, we could have the Day of Apathy in November. (Which day is Election Day? It could be a joint celebration.)

When Europeans first encountered turkeys in the Americas, they incorrectly identified the birds as a type of guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), also known as a turkey-**** from its importation to Central Europe through Turkey, and the name of that country stuck as the name of the bird. The confusion is also reflected in the scientific name: meleagris is Greek for guinea-fowl.

So that's another reason why they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe. Besides being ungrateful for bailing them out of both World Wars, they also don't have any fowls they can accurately call turkeys.

The names for M. gallopavo in other languages also frequently reflect its exotic origins, seen from an Old World viewpoint, and add to the confusion about where turkeys actually came from. The many references to India seen in common names go back to a combination of two factors: first, the genuine belief that the newly-discovered Americas were in fact a part of Asia, and second, the tendency during that time to attribute exotic animals and foods to a place that symbolized far-off, exotic lands. The latter is reflected in terms like "Muscovy Duck" (which is from South America, not Muscovy). This was a major reason why the name "turkey-****" stuck to Meleagris rather than to the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris): the Ottoman Empire represented the exotic East much the same as did India.

But where did Donald Duck come from then?

Several other birds which are sometimes called "turkeys" are not particularly closely related: the Australian brush-turkey is a megapode, and the bird sometimes known as the "Australian turkey" is in fact the Australian Bustard, a gruiform. The bird sometimes called a Water Turkey is actually an Anhinga (Anhinga rufa)

Hehehe. The auto-censor isn't set to go after the term "you dirty bustard!"

So these are some of the things I learned about turkeys.

Here is a picture of two turkeys:

11-22-2007, 05:54 AM
Thanks, Tycho, for giving us the bird!

....er, the information on the bird. ;)

11-22-2007, 07:54 AM
Ummmm, I'd rather just stuff myself with food all day.

11-22-2007, 09:39 AM
Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the Turkey our country's national bird. Instead of the Bald Eagle.
I think he was thinking with his stomach.
He was a little on the chubby side.

11-22-2007, 09:42 AM
Nice one Tycho.

Happy Turkey Day everyone.

11-22-2007, 10:04 PM
In the spring of 2006 I shot a jake and boy was he delicious!

El Chuxter
11-24-2007, 02:32 AM
Turkeys have been involved in less than 1% of the bank robberies in the US over the past decade.

11-24-2007, 04:15 AM
Let's all learn about the turducken.

11-25-2007, 01:38 PM
Let's all learn about the turducken.

I think John Madden should cover that one (or Fank Caliendo).

11-26-2007, 09:46 AM
Let's all learn about the turducken.

the only real trick with the turducken is getting the duck to swallow the chicken, and then getting the turkey to swallow the duck. it's not nearly as easy as you'd think.

11-26-2007, 09:51 AM
But Slicker's mom will swallow anything.

El Chuxter
11-26-2007, 12:00 PM
Turducken is one of those rare strange foods that has a name that's actually grosser than the result.

11-26-2007, 12:36 PM
I want to learn more about how to be in the "Every man has a plan" Snickers club.
At least one is a Pilgrim. So he would know how to carve a Turkey, or a Snickers bar (Sienfeld?)

Oh that's the other thread.

El Chuxter
11-26-2007, 03:25 PM
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird because he was romantically involved with a turkey at the time.

11-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird because he was romantically involved with a turkey at the time.

A gobbler, Chux?

11-26-2007, 05:06 PM
Turducken is one of those rare strange foods that has a name that's actually grosser than the result.

Like kumquats.

11-26-2007, 06:57 PM
A few months ago, I met a girl trying to be sexy by asking the grocer who was assisting me in produce about kumquats. She seemed to think what you call them was absolutely funny.

She was good looking, so as silly as she was being, it was in fact sexy.

I like the way she kept saying kumquats.

11-26-2007, 11:02 PM
Did you ask her if she ever had spotted d**k?.......... when she was in England of course you pervs!