Jungle fowl

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					The Sri Lankan Junglefowl, also known during the colonial era as the
Ceylon Junglefowl, is a member of the Galliformes bird which is endemic
to Sri Lanka, where it is the national bird. It is closely related to the
Red Junglefowl (G. gallus), the wild junglefowl from which the chicken
was domesticated. The specific name of the Sri Lankan Junglefowl
commemorates the French aristocrat Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La
Fayette. In Sinhala it is known as Wali Kukula.
As with other junglefowl, the Sri Lankan Junglefowl is strongly sexually
dimorphic: the male is much larger than the female, with more vivid
plumage and a highly exaggerated wattle and comb.
The male Sri Lankan Junglefowl ranges from 66–73 cm (26–29 in) in length
and 790–1,140 g (1.7–2.5 lb) in weight, essentially resembling a large,
muscular rooster.The male has orange-red body plumage, and dark purple to
black wings and tail. The feathers of the mane descending from head to
base of spine are golden, and the face has bare red skin and wattles. The
comb is red with a yellow centre. As with the Green Junglefowl, the cock
does not possess an eclipse plumage.
The female is much smaller, at only 35 cm (14 in) in length and 510–645 g
(1.1–1.42 lb) in weight, with dull brown plumage with white patterning on
the lower belly and breast, ideal camouflage for a nesting bird.
It lays 2-4 eggs in a nest either on the forest floor in steep hill
country or in the abandoned nests of other birds and squirrels.Male Sri
Lankan Junglefowl play an active role in nest protection and chick
rearing.
The reproductive strategy of this species is best described as
facultative polyandry, in that a single female is typically linked with
two or three males that form a pride of sorts. These males are likely to
be siblings. The female pairs with the alpha male of the pride and nests
high off the ground.
Her eggs are highly variable in colour but generally are cream with a
yellow or pink tint. Purple or brownish spots are common.Occasionally a
female will produce red eggs or blotched eggs.The hen incubates her eggs,
while the alpha male guards her nest from a nearby perch during the
nesting season.
The beta males remain in close proximity as well guarding the nesting
territory from intruders or potential predators, such as rival males, or
snakes and mongooses. Sri Lankan Junglefowl are unique amongst the
junglefowl in the brevity of their incubation, which may be as short as
twenty days.

				
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posted:5/2/2012
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