10 Fun Turkey Facts for Kids – Animal Facts

Turkeys know their names, come when you call,
and are totally affectionate. They’re better than teenagers. Elayne Boosler Next Thursday may officially be called Thanksgiving,
but we all know what it really is�Turkey Day! But how well do you really know the bird likely
to be on your plate? And yes, Turkeys are more than just big chickens�more
than 45 million years of evolution separates the two species. The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction
by the early 20th century, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds. But restoration programs across North America
have brought the numbers up to seven million today. As many hunters know, a turkey has excellent
vision. Because its eyes are on the sides of its head,
the turkey has periscopic vision, which allows it to see objects that are not in its direct
line of sight. By rotating its head, the turkey can see in
360-degrees. Turkeys are known to exhibit over 20 distinct
vocalizations. Including a distinctive gobble, produced by
males, which can be heard a mile away. Don’t be disappointed if the turkey at the
petting zoo refuses to gobble � it’s probably a hen, which communicate through clucks and
small, chirp-like noises. Turkeys really get around. The Aztecs domesticated a subspecies, the
south Mexican wild turkey, and the Spanish brought those turkeys to Europe. The pilgrims then brought several of these
domestic turkeys back to North America. An adult gobbler, the name given to male turkeys,
weighs 16 to 22 pounds on average, has a beard of modified feathers on his breast that reach
seven inches or more in length, and has sharp spurs on his legs for fighting. A hen is smaller, weighing around 8 to 12
pounds, and has no beard or spurs. Both genders have a snood (a dangly appendage
on the face), wattle (the red dangly thingy under the chin) and only a few feathers on
the head. Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles
per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour. So, yes, you’re eating “fast” food for Thanksgiving. Baby turkeys, called poults, eat berries,
seeds and insects, while adults have a more varied diet that can include acorns and even
small reptiles. Poults flock with their mother all year. Although wild turkeys roost in trees, as poults
are unable to fly for the first couple of weeks of their lives, the mother stays with
them at ground level to keep them safe and warm until they are all strong enough to roost
up in the safety of the trees. Contrary to legend, Benjamin Franklin never
proposed the turkey as a symbol for America, but in a letter to his daughter he did once
praise it as being �a much more respectable bird than the bald eagle”. Dinoturkey! Turns out, the wishbone is more than a fun
game for Turkey Day; it also serves as a reminder that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs. Researchers have found that the wishbone dates
back more than 150 million years to a group of meat-eating dinosaurs that includes T.
rex and Velociraptor. What fun facts have you learned about turkeys? Leave a comment below. Also, please leave a thumbsup, it really helps
this channel to evolve. Until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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