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Oct 13th, 2019: Protesters erect Lady Liberty statue on Hong Kong mountain top

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   xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Oct 3 12:01 AM

Oct 3rd, 2019 : Megapodes

Megawhats? Megapodes are birds, about the size of a chicken... I know, chickens come in a range of sizes but work with me here...
with a heavy body, short rounded wings and large, strong, four-toed feet.

There are twenty two species in the megapode family, which are distributed across the Pacific and Indian ocean in the islands of Indonesia, Australia, New Guinea, Polynesia and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

So what, you say? What’s interesting about another bird, even Chicken sized? I’m a gonna tell ya, it’s how they reproduce.
Ha, got your attention now ya perverts.
Birds in this family bury their eggs in soil and incubate them using natural heat sources. Depending on the species and its location, megapodes may lay their eggs in burrows dug in sun-warmed beaches, or geothermally active areas, or they may build large incubation mounds and fill them with organic matter such as leaves, and derive heat through their decomposition.
Megadaddy builds the incubation chamber.
Megamama lays big yolk, thin shelled eggs half again bigger than a chicken, then goes on vacation.
Megadaddy tends the eggs, making adjustments in the chamber to keep the temperature at 33C (92F) for 7 weeks until they’re
ready to hatch, then he goes on vacation.
No shit, unassisted they hatch fully feathered, have to dig themselves out of the chamber, some can fly as soon as they dry, which
is good because they have to feed themselves. Must not be any cats around.

In islands such as Matupi in Papua New Guinea, and Savo and Simbo in Solomon Islands, megapode eggs serves as a major part of their diet and a source of income.
In Savo islands in the South Pacific, there are large “egg fields” where megapodes bury their eggs, sometimes up to three or four feet deep.
The birds come down at dawn or at night to lay the eggs. In the morning villagers come down to the fields and start digging for the eggs with a flat piece of wood. But once they have made a hole about 18 inches deep, the wooden spade is discarded. The men then lie on their bellies and dig with their bare hands so they can’t accidentally break the eggs.

And you thought that 3 to 4 feet was hyperbole. So Megadaddy had to dig 4 feet down with his “large, strong, four-toed feet”.
I’d guess the top of the hole would have to be at least 5 or 6 feet in diameter for loose soil. Then he has to fill it in again so
probably pretty pooped after that, but still on duty for 7 weeks.
Because he'll never break his promise or forget his vow, but god only knows what he can do right now.


lumberjim  Thursday Oct 3 12:10 AM

Do any of them grow to 6 feet tall?

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Oct 3 12:21 AM

Ain't no chickens that big.

Diaphone Jim  Thursday Oct 3 12:40 PM

I've been studying stuff for 60 years or more and continually find things that are not only interesting but astounding.
The Wikipedia article on megapodes is really good, but leaves some things unexplained, especially the process of the females' filling the nest with the right amount of eggs before the male takes over the incubation process like a building HVAC engineer.
Then the poor little boogers have to dig their way out and fend for themselves on day one. It is a good thing they are the MOST precocial birds in the world.
Their evolution also has some wild features which I am still working on.
Great IOTD.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Oct 3 01:14 PM

I love nothing more than sending you down a rabbit hole... well almost nothing.

Gravdigr  Thursday Oct 3 04:19 PM

Man, we shoulda had some of them megapodes at the cemetery. They coulda done the digging...

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