Camping: On my way to the drop dunny, I noticed my campground was swarming with brush turkeys, and a series of thoughts occurred…
1. “That’s Thanksgiving dinner!”
2. “Obviously, in my mind, Turkey= Thanksgiving. Why is a US holiday my first association with an Australian native animal when I’m in the middle of the Australian bush? America has ruined my brain.”
3. “Those floppy neck sacks look like testicles…”
4. *Image of myself sitting at a Thanksgiving feast I’m unlikely to ever attend and don’t really know the meaning of; Turkey centrepiece; snowing outside*
5. “Those neck testicles would crisp up nicely”
6. “What diseases would I be ingesting if I ate these now?”
Clearly I have no vegetarian or vegan leanings… This is probably a protected species, but they’re aggressive little f*kers, so I’m feeling little remorse for these thoughts.
Anyway, there’s nothing like testicles to grab interest in a topic, so I read up on these Testicle-Necks.
It’s the males of the species that have bright yellow neck testicles (deflated scrotal sacs is probably a more accurate description and the technical term is ‘wattle’- there are no testes within) that enlarge during mating season. I noticed one poor guy had a very flimsy, asymmetrical wattle like a shrivelled pair of balloons with one side dessicated to non-existence, (Side note to any female brush turkeys reading this: don’t mate that one, ladies.That bloke probably has some wonky DNA). Which got me wondering about how they do it. Apparently, part of the mating game is the male plays the role of housekeeper, building a large mound of compost material for incubating fertilised eggs and tests that the temperature is ‘just right’ (33 degrees) with a sensor in his mouth. The ladies go wild for big warm mounds, come back for more turns when the mound is right and then rack off, possibly to attend other mounds, leaving the male to defend the mound while the eggs are incubating.
Some other interesting facts these Testicle-Necks prompted me to find out:
– The Australian Brush Turkey has no relation to American Turkeys
– During The Depression, Brush Turkeys were actually used as a source of meat and eggs (so, I’m not the only one).
Here are some Google images someone else prepared earlier. They were only out in force for one afternoon and didn’t return for portraits (Thanksgiving must have come early this year. A lot of happy campers with Turkey dinners, perhaps).
Swipe left on Johnny-One-Ball, ladies… Regardless of how big and warm his mound is.