Mound-builders are unique in being the only birds that do not incubate their eggs using body heat; rather, a variety of naturally occurring sources of heat is exploited such as solar energy and the heat generated by decomposing organic matter. This book shows how this remarkable adaptation influences every part of these birds’ lives, including the development of the embryo, the parentless life of the hatchlings, their social organisation and their survival. Twenty-two species of mound-builders exist within the Megapode family. Mound-builders examines the three occurring in Australia: the Scrubfowl in the humid tropics; the Brush turkey in dense forested areas from Cape York to Sydney; and most remarkable of all, the Malleefowl in the arid interior. Scientific interest in these birds has increased considerably in recent decades, and Mound-builders summarises many significant discoveries. With a strong emphasis on conservation and changing interactions between mound-builders and people, this is an excellent introduction to one of the most unusual bird families.
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adults Ann Göth appears areas Atherton Tablelands Australian Brush-turkey Australian Brush-turkey Alectura Australian megapodes Australian mound-builders Australian species average birds body mass breeding season Brush-turkey Alectura lathami Brush-turkey chicks Brush-turkey mounds builders building calls Chapter colour conservation Darryl Jones dense described digging duet ecology egg laying embryos environment feathers forest Frith HJ galliforms habitat hunting incubation mound incubation period incubation temperatures invertebrates Jessica Jones DN leaf litter Leipoa ocellata living Macrocephalon maleo male and female mallee Malleefowl mating megapode eggs megapodes Megapodiidae Megapodius reinwardt monogamous mound location mound temperatures mound-builder chicks northern number of eggs observations Orange-footed Scrubfowl organic material pairs Photo plumage population predators Queensland radio-tracking rain rainfall rainforest raking reproductive Scrubfowl Megapodius Scrubfowl mounds soil South Australia South Wales suburban suitable survival tail three Australian three mound-builders three species turkey typical vegetation vocalisations Waag wattle Western Australia yolk