Learn all about turkeys

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A female turkey, or hen, has more subdued wattles than the male, which is called a tom. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Turkeys are popular, whether for their apparent lack of intelligence, colorful plumage, tastiness or how clever their wild relatives can be. Turkeys have an important place in the history of the country as well as on holiday dinner tables. The common turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, is an indigenous game bird of North America and lives over a wide range of habitats in the U.S. Turkeys were domesticated by the First Peoples of pre-Columbian Mexico in ancient times for their eggs, feathers and meat. Upon their discovery by the Spaniards, turkeys crossed the Atlantic bound for Spain in about 1519. From Spain, they were transported throughout Europe, coming to England in the 1540s. This tom turkey is showing off for the camer
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