sec: unclas Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Re: A megapode question

To: <>
Subject: sec: unclas Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Re: A megapode question
From: "Tania Ireton" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 13:41:09 +1000
Having just researched megapodes for an article in the October Bird
Observer (gratuitous plug), I can confidently state that all megapode
chicks hatch almost fully fledged and can fly within hours.  In fact a
hatchling Melanesian Scrubfowl released by an egg-collector flew out
over the sea and then back into the forest, covering approximately 1600
metres without stopping.


>>> Chris Sanderson <> 14/10/04 13:22:25 >>>
Another interesting note about "a" megapode, although I don't know if
it applies to other members of the family.  Brush Turkey chicks hatch
fully fledged!  I though that was pretty amazing.  They're able to fly
hours after hatching as an adaption to having no parental care (I
assume it's an adaption - although which came first, the lousy parents
or the independent children? ;^)

Chris - Brisbane

On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 11:38:44 +1000,
<> wrote:
> Hugo wrote "Evolution of the use of external heat sources for
> must have included adaptations to egg/embryo physiology. Inadvertent
> may occur in the course of mound maintenance, but is not only
> but also potentially damaging as megapode eggs have shells that are
> considerably thinner and more fragile than would be expected from
> with those of other birds." 
> I doubted whether megapodes would turn their eggs deliberately (as
Hugo also
> said "To what extent are megapodes 'aware' of their eggs, anyway?"). 
> shells are very thin (apparently 69% that of the expected shell
> so any disturbance is likely to be dangerous to the well-being of the
> Internal egg morphology does apparently differ from that of other
eggs with
> the proportion of yolk to albumen very different.  It could well be
> these eggs have adaptations to counter the problems associated with
> just "sitting in the dirt" waiting to hatch. 
> Isn't nature wonderful.  Anyway, it was just one of these questions
> sometimes pops into one's head!
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