Freak shows and carnivals, stand aside. Some of the most
As one of the most colorful, mesmerizing birds peacocks are more than just pretty feathers. These showy birds are the pimps of the animal kingdom and win over more human stares and peahens alike. Check out the science behind their brilliant colors and some interesting mating habits worth trying yourself.
1. Peacocks are called a peafowl and a group of peafowl is called a “party” or a “pride”.
2. The peacock is actually the name of the male peafowl. The female is called a peahen and their babies are called peachicks and a family of peafowl is called a “bevy”.
3. The Indian peafowl is the national bird of India and is protected in that country.
4. In the Hindu religion, the peafowl is a sacred bird because the spots on the peacock’s tail symbolize the eyes of the gods.
5. They can fly, despite their crazy train, but not very far – usually just enough to land on a branch or flee from a ground predator. They are one of the largest flying birds.
6. Because of selective breeding, it’s not totally uncommon for captive peafowl to come out with all white feathers. This is called leucism, and it’s because of a genetic mutation that causes loss of pigmentation. Often, people think they are albino, but they aren’t since they don’t have red eyes.
7. The long tail of an adult male is called a “train” and can reach 6 feet long and makes 60% of peacock’s total length.
8. What is it that makes a peacock’s feathers so dazzling? Microscopic “crystal-like structures” that reflect different wavelengths of light depending on how they’re spaced result in bright fluorescent colors. The colors will look different every time you change the angle of looking because of the reflection of the light.
9. A peahen chooses its partner by the length, width, and coloration of the tail. Don’t we all?
10. Peafowl have quite the lifespan at 20 years both in the wild and captivity.
11. Peacocks are pimps: Suitable males may gather harems of several females, each of which will lay three to five eggs.