Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various large-footed, ground-dwelling birds of the family Megapodiidae, found in Australia and many South Pacific islands, that build mounds or burrows of earth and compost in which to incubate their eggs. Also called moundbird, mound builder, scrub fowl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several chicken- or turkey-like birds in the family Megapodiidae, which incubate their eggs by burying them where they receive warmth from decaying vegetation, solar radiation or geothermal heat.
  • adj. Characteristic of the Megapodiidae

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of large-footed, gallinaceous birds of the genera Megapodius and Leipoa, inhabiting Australia and other Pacific islands. Called also mound builder, scrub fowl, moundbird, and brush turkey. See Jungle fowl (b) under jungle, and leipoa.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as megapod.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large-footed short-winged birds of Australasia; build mounds of decaying vegetation to incubate eggs

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Megapodius, type genus : mega- + New Latin -podius, masculine of -podium, -pod.

Examples

  • I come gladly to the conclusion that the megapode is a sagacious bird, not only in the avoidance of the dismal duty of incubation, but in respect of the making of those great mounds of decaying vegetable matter and earth which perform the function so effectively.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The bird we came across was called a megapode, and it has a very similar outlook on life.

    Last Chance to See

  • He ate out of a sense of necessity and duty, and cared little for what he ate, save for one thing: the eggs of the megapodes that were, in season, laid in his private, personal, strictly tabooed megapode laying-yard.

    CHAPTER XV

  • In truth, he cared no more for megapode meat than for any other meat.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • During the season, he lived almost entirely on megapode eggs.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • Wherefore, he alone of all Somo, barred rigidly by taboo, ate megapode eggs.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • Actually was he hungry when he had megapode eggs, and the well-nigh dried founts of saliva and of internal digestive juices were stimulated to flow again at contemplation of a megapode egg prepared for the eating.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • Now the megapode of the Solomons is a distant cousin to the brush turkey of Australia.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • The megapode, with no sense of fear, is so silly that it would have been annihilated hundreds of centuries before had it not been preserved by the taboos of the chiefs and priests.

    CHAPTER XVI

  • There are 22 species of megapodes scattered across the Australo-Pacific region, with three (the brush turkey, the malleefowl and the orange-footed megapode) native to Australia.

    Archive 2007-01-01

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