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(vertebrate zoology)
An order of birds that includes important domestic and game birds, such as turkeys, pheasants, and quails.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an order of birds. The galliforms measure from 12 cm (Japanese quail [Coturnix coturnix japonicus]) to 235 cm (great argus pheasant [Argusianus argus]) in length and weigh from 45 g (Japanese quail) to 11.5 kg (wild turkey; domesticated turkeys, up to 22.5 kg). The bill is short and strong. The legs are strong and adapted for scratching the earth or forest floor for food. The wings are broad, generally suited only for short bursts of flight. The plumage is dense; the feathers have a supplementary shaft, except in the hoatzin. The down is sparse and found only on the pterylae. The males of many gallinaceous birds are more brightly colored than the females. Some species have bare facial parts of the head, which is brightly colored or has fleshy knobs (crest, wattles, brows).

The order comprises two suborders: Opisthocomi (one species) and Galli. The latter includes 240 living and about 100 fossil species, united in six families: Megapodiidae (mound builders), Cracidae (curassows, guans, and chachalacas), Phasianidae (partridges, quails, and pheasants), Tetraonidae (grouse), Numididae (guinea fowls), and Meleagrididae (turkeys). The galliforms are widely distributed. They are found in all zones, from the tundras to tropical forests and high mountains. They are absent only in the antarctic. The distribution of individual families is limited. Gallinaceous birds are either sedentary birds or wandering birds; only the quails migrate seasonally. Most galliforms are terrestrial birds; some feed on trees. Only the hoatzin and the cracids are true arboreal birds.

The nesting period of some galliforms is preceded by courtship. Many gallinaceous birds are polygamous, and the males do not help care for the offspring. The nests are on the ground (except those of the cracids and the hoatzin). There are two to 20 or more eggs per clutch. They are incubated 14 to 30 days. The megapodes do not sit on the eggs but incubate them in sand or decaying leaves. The young are hatched with a thick covering of down and immediately leave the nest. They feed predominantly on animal food (insects, worms); the adult birds feed on plant food (seeds, buds, berries, pine needles, catkins, leaves).

All galliforms except the hoatzin are game birds and valuable objects of commercial hunting. In the USSR the willow ptarmigan, hazel hen, black grouse, pheasant, and quail are of special significance. The numbers of many galliforms are decreasing due to excessive hunting and changes in their habitat as a result of human activity. Some galliforms (pheasant, grouse, chukar partridge) are raised on farms. The red jungle fowl, turkey, and guinea fowl have been domesticated and have served as the ancestors of numerous breeds of poultry.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 4. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1952.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 5. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
gallinae se recolectaron de gallinas de produccion transpatio en Duitama (Boyaca-Colombia).
gallinae infecting domestic pigeons is available all over the world including Pakistan, because there are only limited investigation of this pathogen affecting domestic pigeons reported (McKeon et al., 1997; Dovc et al., 2004; Padilla et al., 2004; Luo et al., 2006; Sansano-Maestre et al., 2009; Zhang, 2009).
Twenty eight of 35 domesticated black partridges were infested by seven lice species including Coculogaster heterographus, Brueelia coquimbana, Menacanthus stramineus, Genero columbicola, Menopon gallinae, Lipeurus caponis, Goniodes gigas and one tick species (Ixodes pacificus).
Protozoa parasites were identified in these research study were consist of Haemoproteus colombae, Ttichomonas gallinae, Cryposporidium and Eimeria that resembling reported by they work on external and internal parasites of the pigeon from east of Iran.
(%) gltA-positive fleas Flea species Dogs Cats Ctenocephalides felis 114 (10) 152 (14) Archeopsylla erinacei 26 (26) 8 (8) Ctenocephalides canis 4 (0) -- Ceratophyllus gallinae 2 (1) 3 (1) Pulex irritans -- 1 (0) Total 146 (37) 164 (23) * gltA, citrate synthase.
Brockis [7], reporta la infestacion de algunos miembros de una familia, afectados por Dermayssus gallinae que parasitan a gallinas, palomas, perros y gatos.
The life cycle of Cnemidocoptes gallinae (depluming mite, depluming itch mite) burrows into basal shafts of feathers to cause pruritus (Arends, 2003).
Avian trichomoniasis is a worldwide parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trichomonas gallinae. Although several degrees of pathogenicity have been described on the basis of the clinical signs in birds, there are few reports concerning the genetic characterization of the parasite and its relationship with pathogenicity.
The objectives of this study were to monitor the presence and annual variation of Trichomonas gallinae for 6 years in a local mourning dove population using hunter-killed doves.