Don’t think of them as big chickens.
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Here are 9 weird facts about turkeys:
It’s all in the shape.
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Male turkey poops are shaped like a J, while female turkey poops are shaped like spirals.
In 1989, Tyson the turkey set the Guinness World Record at a heaviest turkey competition in the United Kingdom.
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On average, male turkeys bred for food are about 41 pounds.
On two legs, they can reach up to 25 miles per hour. In the air, they can move up to 55 miles per hour.
And while they aren’t frequently in the water, turkeys can swim, too.
The only other native domestic bird is the Muscovy Duck.
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Though domestic chickens are evolutionary cousins to turkeys, they were brought to North America by Europeans.
The last common ancestor between chickens and turkeys existed about 40 million years ago.
However, they are both part of the same bird family, Phasianidae.
They are preserved so well in part due to the bird’s large and dense bones.
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Turkeys have also been eaten by humans for thousands of years, if not longer.
Compared to other birds, they are well-represented in the fossil record.
These thick strands that protrude from the chests of turkeys are modified feathers. The longest recorded beard, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation, was 22.5 inches.
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Turkeys often grow multiple beards, too.
Though rare, sometimes female turkeys can sprout thick chest feathers as well.
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Thanks to conservation efforts around the U.S., their populations are flourishing in many areas.
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Wild turkeys live in every U.S. state, except for Alaska.