Galliformes – Turkeys, pheasants & quails

Galliformes’ ancestors survived a sudden mass extinction of three-quarters of the plant and animal species 66 million years ago

Members of this order are chicken-like, stocky-bodied birds that mainly feed on the ground. They have short, rounded wings. They have sturdy feet with 4 to 5 toes and are usually land-dwellers, though some do like to spend their time nesting on trees. They are capable of a short but fast flight.

Amongst species of this family, many such as grouse, partridge, pheasant, turkey, quail, and chickens, have economic importance to humans in terms of poultry, meat, and other uses. The chicken was domesticated as early as 2000 BC.

In most of these species, the males have various colorful ornamentation and patterns on the head. The ‘crowing’ they are famous for announcing territories and maintaining their social groups.