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PEAFOWL

Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus
Order
Galliformes (gamefowl)

Family
Phasianidae (pheasants, partridges)

Habitat & Range
Peafowls are native to the Asiatic birds; two species, the Indian and green peafowl, are native to the Asian countries of India, Burma, and Java. The Congo peafowl inhabits the lowland rainforests of the Congo River Basin.

Identification
Males are referred to as “peacocks” and females are “peahens.” Peacocks are incredibly colorful; they have the ability to spread their feathers into a large fan. Males employ this trait in order to attract females. The tail feathers grow several feet long and are shed after each mating season. Females are not nearly as colorful as the males, but both sexes possess a crown of colorful feathers that jut from the top of their heads.

Diet
Peafowls are omnivorous, meaning they will eat everything from plants and seeds, to small insects, reptiles, and amphibians.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Peahens lay 3 to 5 eggs at a time. The eggs are often placed in nests consisting of shallow holes dug out from underneath a bush or similar plant growth. Peafowls have been known to live up to 30 years in captivity.

Fantastic Fact
Cultural Significance
Peacocks feature prominently in many cultures. Hindus recognize the peacock as the mount of the lord Karthikeya, the “God of war.” In Babylonia and Persia the peacock was seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon royal thrones. American television broadcaster NBC adapted the peacock as its logo. The different hues of the logo’s feathers represented television’s move from black and white broadcasts to color.
 
 
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