Galliformes: Chicken-like Birds
Gallinaceous birds are those often called game birds or landfowl.
Gallinaceous birds are the Galliformes, an order of birds that includes turkeys, pheasants, chickens, peafowl, quail, grouse, ptarmigans, partridges, and other gamefowl. Gallus = Latin for “rooster”.
Galliformes do NOT include the waterfowl (such as ducks, geese, and swans), which are in a different order, the Anseriformes. However, these two groups are classified together into a superorder, Galloanserae (termed loosely “fowl”).
Here is a selection of Galliformes — click to view larger:
Check out the List of Galliformes on Wikipedia — it features an illustrated schematic showing the relationships between the various types of birds. 😀
Galliformes are heavy-bodied and mostly ground-dwelling (often roosting in trees). They also feed on the ground and often prefer to run from threats rather than to fly away. There are almost three hundred different species in this order, broken into five different families. Gallinaceous birds are found on every continent except Antarctica, but are absent from most oceanic islands outside of introduced species. They range in size from 5 to over 45 inches long!
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