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10 amazing facts about turkeys

© Fotolia | celiafoto

  • Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They are able to see much more colors than human eye, because they can see UV-light.
  • They are social animals. They enjoy to live in social bonds and show affection towards one another.
  • In nature, wild turkey used to sleep on trees. This keeps them high above their natural predators, which include coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, snakes and dogs.  
  • Turkeys can recognize each other by their voices, and more than 20 unique vocalizations have been identified in wild turkeys. 
  • Wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. The natural lifespan of the turkey is up to 10 years.
  • They are incredibly curious and inquisitive animals who enjoy exploring.
  • Turkeys are highly intelligent animals who, just like the dogs and cats in our homes, are playful individuals with unique personalities.
  • Turkeys have a wingspan of up to six feet, which makes them the largest bird in their natural habitat of the open forest by far.
  • They are gentle creatures who enjoy socializing with human companions and protecting other turkeys with whom they’ve bonded.
  • In the wild, mother Turkeys naturally raise their chicks for five months and fiercely protect them from danger.


One additional sad fact at the end: 

In many countries like UK and USA, it’s a tradition to have turkey as a Christmas meal. In industrial farming, they have been selectively bred to grow bigger than they would normally be, which causes serious physical problems as the animals become too heavy to carry themselves. 



- Hart, N. S., Partridge, J. C., Cuthill, I. C. (1999): Visual pigments, cone oil droplets, ocular me-dia and predicted spectral sensitivity in the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). Vision Res. 39, 3321-3328.
- Dickson, J.G. (1992): The Wild Turkey. Biology and Management. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books.