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guinea fowl(gĭn`ē), common name for any of the seven species of gallinaceous birds of the family Numididae, native to Africa and Madagascar. The helmeted guinea fowl, Numida meleagris, from which the domesticated strains are descended, is typical of the family, with its bare head and neck, sleek body, smooth dark feathers dotted with white, and short tail. It is named for its bony casque. Guinea fowls are raised, mainly for their gamey flesh, in many parts of the world. Of the three domestic varieties (the pearl, the white, and the lavender), the purplish-gray colored pearl is the most common. The largest member of the family is the 24-in. (60-cm) vulturine guinea fowl, Acryllium vulturinum, found in tropical E Africa. Guinea fowls are extremely good runners and use this method, rather than flying, to escape predators. Guinea fowls are known to have been domesticated by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Numididae.
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guinea fowl[′gin·ē ‚fau̇l]
The common name for plump African game birds composing the family Numididae; individuals have few feathers on the head and neck, but may have a crest of feathers and various fleshy appendages.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
guinea fowl, guinea
any gallinaceous bird, esp Numida meleagris, of the family Numididae of Africa and SW Asia, having a dark plumage mottled with white, a naked head and neck, and a heavy rounded body
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005