One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large ground-dwelling Australasian and SE Asian bird that builds a large mound of debris to incubate its eggs by the heat of decomposition.
Family Megapodiidae (the megapode family), which comprises the scrubfowls, brush-turkeys, malleefowl, and maleo
- ‘Instead of using body heat to directly incubate eggs, megapodes passively incubate eggs.’
- ‘All megapode species, except the Malleefowl, live in tropical humid broadleaf forests.’
- ‘Then there's the curious megapode, a big-footed bird that is built like a chicken and emits a cry they say sounds just like a cat's.’
- ‘The megapodes bury their eggs in relatively isolated pockets, where the conditions are right for incubation, making them susceptible to humans and other predators.’
- ‘What sets megapodes apart from these game birds is their extraordinary breeding behavior.’
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Megapodius (genus name), from mega- ‘large’ + Greek pous, pod- ‘foot’.
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