The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Gallinæ

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GALLINÆ, a group of birds, styled gallinaceous or “game-birds” deriving its name from the Latin gallus, the domestic cock, which is a typical example. The group is non-classified as a suborder Galli of the order Galliformes, situated between the tinamous and the rails. The order embraces the singular mesites of Madagascar; the various partridges and quails of the Eastern Hemisphere Tumices; and the hoatzin besides the typical gallinaceous birds, which far outnumber the rest. All are ground-keeping, running birds, agreeing in the possession of a globular crop adapted to the digestion of the seeds and hard insects that form the greater part of their food, and in having the young hatched in such a state of advancement that they are clothed in a uniform coat of down-feather, and are able to run about and pick up food after a few hours. They are distributed throughout the world, but are most numerous and reach their highest perfection in the forested parts of the Orient. The group (Galli) includes the mound-birds or brush-turkeys, and other Megapodes of Australasia; the curassows and guans of tropical America; and all the pheasants, guinea-fowls, turkey, jungle-fowls (parents of our domestic fowls), tragopars, American quails and partridges, grouse, ptarmigan, and similar species of various parts of the world. Many have been successfully domesticated; others are prized as ornaments, or for their plumage, and all are good eating. Hence they have ever been the object of capture, and some of them afford the finest sport to be enjoyed with dog and shotgun. Special articles described the most important species under their popular names.