What part of the turkey’s body is called a snood? What is a snood used for? Do turkeys drown in the rain? Are turkeys smart? Read this associated content article Fun Facts about Turkeys and have a few common Turkey Myths Busted.
Fun Facts about Turkeys: Turkey Myths Busted – The Turkey Snood
Turkeys have fleshy heads that can be blue and red in wild American Wild Turkeys and duller pink flesh colored in white domestic turkeys. Turkeys have wattles that hang below the beak and a snood. A turkey’s snood is the fleshy part that hangs over the beak. It can extend and retract as well as change to brighter colors along with the head. The snood can show a turkey’s excitement level, taking one position when the turkey is at rest and another when the bird is alert and active.
The local paper ran an article in the kid’s section around Thanksgiving that falsely stated the snood had “no purpose”. One thing the color changing moveable turkey snood is used for is communication with other turkeys.
Fun Facts about Turkeys: Turkey Myths Busted – Turkey Ears
While birds may not have the obvious visible external ear flaps like humans do, Turkeys and other birds have visible external ear canals. As with vultures and on heads of other featherless birds, Turkey ears are visible as small hole if you look closely at the bald wrinkled head.
Fun Facts about Turkeys: Turkey Myths Busted – Drowning in Rain
The myth that turkeys drown by looking up at rain is false. Snopes and the TV show Urban Legends got this part right. Turkeys’ eyes are on the sides of their heads; they tilt their head sideways to see up. Other birds have been observed pointing their heads upwards to catch rain water in their mouths or to swallow water that has been scooped into their beak. Like other birds, a turkey may appear to be looking up at rain while drinking it. However, wild turkeys are outside all the time, regularly encounter rain, and the species is still alive. It’s unlikely that a turkey would drown in rain by looking up at it or by drinking it.
Domestic conditions can result in turkeys that are more are vulnerable. It’s possible that deformities occur, such as one in their throats that may cause problems. In crowded or confined conditions animals may panic or have difficulty avoiding lightening or predators. Stress can weaken immune systems and turkeys may become sick from drinking dirty water. Young turkeys raised under roofs may panic when exposed to outdoor weather conditions as adults. If fatalities occur after rain, they’re likely due to other causes; further investigation may prevent unnecessary, early, deaths.
Fun Facts about Turkeys: Turkey Myths Busted – Turkey Intelligence
Snopes and the TV show Urban Legends stated that turkeys are either stupid or incapable of fascination. Since we lack technology to decipher what animals are thinking, how would they know if turkeys are capable of fascination or not? Still, it’s unlikely that turkeys, or any other species, would be fascinated to the level of rendering the animals incapable of lowering their head to avoid drowning.
Animal intelligence can be difficult to measure and comparing intelligence across species can be flawed. Frequently, new studies in animal behavior find that animals are capable of much more than what was once thought. Other birds, including parrots and crows, have demonstrated intelligence. So are turkeys smart or stupid? Wild turkeys are able to evade predators, survive varying weather conditions, and do everything else needed to live in the wild, indicating that they’re not deficient in the amount of intelligence needed to thrive.
Degree in Animal Behavior