Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Megapodiidae comprises six genera and 19 species. Taxa of Megapapodiidae are commonly referred to as scrub fowl (Macrocephalon, Megapodius, Eulipoa); brush-turkeys (Alectura, Aepypodius, Talegalla), or mallee fowl (Leipoa). Megapodes are chicken-like birds with notably large feet. Instead of using body heat to directly incubate eggs, megapodes passively incubate eggs. Megapodes are sometimes referred to as mound builders because of their habit of burying their eggs under mounds of decaying vegetation. Some megapodes place their eggs in shallow pits or burrows to be warmed geothermally or with sun-warmed sand. Upon hatching, the feathered chicks, dig out from under the mound (or emerge from the burrow) and are able to forage, walk, run and fly. Parental care of emergent chicks has not been observed.