Chordates • Earth.com

Maleo

(Macrocephalon maleo)

galery

Description

The maleic Macrocephalon,Maleo is a megapodiídeo average size (about 55 cm) with black feathers without yellow facial skin,iris reddish-brown and salmon pink abdomen.The head is ornamented with a black cup.The blue-gray feet have four long,sharp claws,separated by a membranous skin.The sexes are almost identical with females slightly smaller and less showy.Only species of the monotypic genus Macrocephalon,Maleo is endemic to the islands of Sulawesi and Buton,Indonesia.It is found in the tropical lowlands and forest in the hills,but has nests in open sandy areas,volcanic soils and beaches that are warmed by the sun or geothermal energy for hatching.(There are also megapodid species that use compost to incubate their eggs.)Maleo's eggs are large,about 5 times the size of those of a domestic chicken.The female puts and covers each egg in a deep hole in the sand and allows incubation to occur by solar or volcanic heating.After they hatch,the young birds make their way through the sand and hide in the woods,being able to fly and fully independent.They need to find food and defend themselves against predators such as lizards,pythons,pigs and wild cats.Maleo is monogamous,and the pair members are close to each other all the time.Their diet consists mainly of fruits,seeds,ants,termites,beetles and other small invertebrates.Since 1972,this species has been protected by the Indonesian government.Due to habitat loss,limited range,high infant mortality and over-hunting in certain areas,Maleo is assessed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.It is listed in Appendix I of CITESIn 2009,the "Wildlife Conservation Society" (based in England) works with local governments to purchase 36 acres of beach where approximately 40 nests are located in an effort to conserve and protect this bird

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Megapodiidae
Genus:Macrocephalon
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