TURKEY , an
See also:abbreviation for Turkey-
See also:Cock or Turkey-
See also:Hen as the case may be, a well-known large domestic gallinaceous
See also:bird . How it came by this name has long been a
See also:matter of discussion, for it is certain that this valuable animal was introduced to
See also:Europe from the New
See also:World, and in its introduction had nothing to do with Turkey or with
See also:Turks, even in the old and extended sense in which that
See also:term was applied to all Mahommedans . But it is almost as unquestionable that the name was originally applied to the bird which we know as the
See also:fowl (q.v.), and there is no doubt that some authors in the 16th and 17th centuries curiously confounded these two
See also:species . As both birds became more
See also:common and better known, the distinction was gradually perceived, and the name " turkey " became restricted to that from the New World—possibly because of its repeated
See also:call-note--to be syllabled lurk, lurk, tuck, whereby it may be almost said to have named itself (cf . Notes and Queries, 6th series, vol. iii. pp . 23, 369) . But even
See also:Linnaeus could not clear himself of the confusion, and unhappily misapplied the name Meleagris, undeniably belonging to the guinea-fowl, as the generic term for what we now know as the turkey, adding thereto as its specific designation the word gallopavo, takeq from the Gallopava of C . Gesner,who, though not wholly
See also:free from error, was less mistaken than some of his contemporaries and even. successors.' The turkey, so far as we know, was first described by
See also:Oviedo in his
See also:Samaria de la natural historia de
See also:las Indias2 (cap.
See also:xxxvi.), said to have been published in 1527 . He, not unnaturally, includes both curassows and turkeys in one category, calling both " Pavos " (peafowls); but he carefully distinguishes between them, pointing out among other things that the latter make a
See also:wheel (hacen la
See also:rueda) of their tail, though this was not so
See also:grand or so beautiful as that of the
See also:Spanish " Pavo," and he gives a faithful though
See also:short description of the turkey . The chief point of
See also:interest in his account is that he speaks. of the species having been already taken from New Spain (Mexico) to the islands and to Castilla del Oro (
See also:Darien), where it bred in a domestic state among the Christians . Much labour has been given by various naturalists to ascertain the date of its introduction to Europe, to which we can at
See also:present only make an approximate attempt;' but after all that has been written it is plain that evidence concurs to show that the bird was established in Europe by 153o—a very short
See also:time to have elapsed since it became known to the Spaniards, which could hardly have been before 1518, when Mexico was discovered . The possibility that it had been brought to England by Cabot or some of his successors earlier in the century is not to be overlooked, and reasons will presently be assigned for supposing that one of the breeds of
See also:English turkeys may have had a
See also:northern origin;' but the often-quoted distich first given in
See also:Chronicle (p .
298), asserting that turkeys came into England in the same year—and that
See also:year by reputation 1524—as carps, pickerels and other commodities, is wholly untrustworthy, for we know that both these fishes lived in the
See also:country long before, if indeed they were not indigenous to it . The earliest documentary evidence of its existence in England is a " constitution " set forth by
See also:Cranmer in 1541, which Hearne first printed (
See also:Leland's Collectanea, 2nd ed., vol. vi. p . 38) . This names Turkey-cocke " as one of the " greater fowles " of which an ecclesiastic was to have " but one in a dishe," and its association with the
See also:crane and
See also:swan precludes the likelihood of any confusion with the guinea-fowl . Moreover the comparatively low price of the two turkeys and four turkey-chicks served at a feast of the serjeantsat-
See also:law in 1555 (
See also:Dugdale, Origines, p . 135) points to their having become by that time abundant, and indeed by 1573
See also:Tusser bears witness to the
See also:part they had already begun to
See also:play in "
See also:Christmas husbandlie fare." In 1555 both sexes were characteristically figured by
See also:Belon (Oyseaux, p . 249), as was the cock by Gesner in the same year, and these are the earliest representations of the bird known to exist . As a
See also:denizen of the poultry-yard there are at least two distinct breeds, though crosses between them are much commoner than purely-bred examples of either (see POULTRY) . That known as the Norfolk breed is the smaller of the two, and is said to be the less
See also:hardy . Its plumage is black . The chicks also are black, with occasionally
See also:white patches on the
See also:head . The other breed, called the Cambridge, is much more variegated in
See also:colour, and some parts of the plumage have a bright metallic
See also:gloss, while the chicks are generally mottled with brownish
See also:grey .
This has been much crossed with the
See also:Bronze, the largest of all, which has the beautiful metallic plumage of the
See also:wild bird, with the ' The French Coq and Poule d'Inde (whence Dindon) involve no contradiction, looking to the general idea of what India then was . One of the earliest German names for the bird, Kalekuttisch Hun (whence the Scandinavian Kalkon), must have arisen through some
See also:mistake at present inexplicable; but this does not refer, as is generally supposed, to
See also:Calcutta, but to
See also:Calicut on the
See also:coast (cf . Notes and Queries, 6th series, vol. x. p . 185) . 2
See also:Purchas (Pilgrimes, iii . 995) in 1625 quoted both from this and from the same author's Hystoria general, said to have been published a few years later . 2 The bibliography of the turkey is so large that there is here no
See also:room to name the various
See also:works that might be cited .
See also:research has failed to add anything of importance to what has been said on this point by Buffon (Oiseaux, ii . 132–162),
See also:Pennant (Arctic Zoology, pp . 291–300)—an admirable
See also:Broderip (Zoological Recreations, pp . 12o—137)—9ot that all their statements can be wholly accepted .
See also:essay (Miscellanies, pp .
127–151), to prove that the bird was known before the
See also:discovery of
See also:America and was transported thither, is an ingenious piece of
See also:pleading which his friend Pennant did him the real kindness of ignoring . In 1672 Josselin (New England's Rarities, p . 9) speaks of the settlers bringing up "
See also:store of the wild kind " of turkeys, " which remain about their houses as tame as ours in England." The bird was evidently plentiful down to the very seaboard of Massachusetts, and it is not likely to have been domesticated by the
See also:Indian tribes there, as, according to Hernandez, it seems to have been by the Mexicans . It was probably easy to take alive, and, as we know, capable of enduring the voyage to England . Mexican
See also:form of which it quite agrees in colour . White, pied and
See also:buff turkeys are also often seen, and if care be taken they are commonly found to " breed true." Occasionally turkeys, the cocks especially, occur with a top-knot of feathers, and one of them was figured by Albin in 1738 . It has been suggested with some appearance of probability that the Norfolk breed may be descended from the northern form, Meleagris gallopavo or americana, while the Cambridge breed may
See also:spring from the
See also:southern form, the M. mexicana of
See also:Gould (Proc . Zool . Society, 1856, p . 61), which indeed it very much resembles, especially in having its tail-coverts and quills tipped with white or
See also:light ochreous—points that recent
See also:North American ornithologists rely upon as distinctive of this form . If this supposition be true, there would be reason to believe in the
See also:double introduction of the bird into England at least, as already hinted, but
See also:positive information is almost wholly wanting.' The northern form of wild turkey, whose habits have been described in much detail by all the chief writers on North American birds, is now
See also:extinct in the settled parts of
See also:Canada and the eastern states of the Union, where it was once so numerous; and in Mexico the southern form, which would seem to have been never abundant since the
See also:conquest, has been for many years rare . Farther to the south, on the
See also:borders of
See also:Guatemala and
See also:Honduras, there exists a perfectly distinct species, M. ocellata, whose plumage almost vies with that of a
See also:peacock in splendour, while the
See also:bare skin which covers the head is of a deep blue studded with orange caruncles (Proc .
Zool . Society, 1861, pl. x1.) . The genus Meleagris is considered to enter into the
See also:family Phasianidae, in which it forms a subfamily Meleagrinae,
See also:peculiar to North and Central America . The fossil remains of three species have been described by
See also:Professor Marsh—one from the
See also:Miocene of
See also:Colorado, and two, one much taller and the other smaller than the existing species, from the
See also:post-Pliocene of New Jersey . Both the last had proportionally long and slender legs . (A .
TURKESTAN, or HAZRET
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