SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.

Animal Reference

BACK
HOME » Wildlife » Animal Reference

THE HELMETED GUINEAFOWL

4 September 2014

www.leopard.tv

The two subspecies of the helmeted guineafowl in South Africa, Numida meleagris meleagris and Numida meleagris cornuta, are both large terrestrial birds that are some 53 to 58 cm tall and weigh around 1.4 kg, although the latter is limited to the Eastern Cape province. The name meleagris refers to Meleager, a mythical Greek hero. The first specimen was described as a type of pheasant Phasianus meleagris by Linnaeus in 1758 based on a specimen from the Upper Nile River in Sudan. There are nine subspecies of the helmeted guineafowl of which several occur in southern Africa. Although they mostly move around on the ground they can fly well. The helmeted guineafowl has brown eyes and a characteristic bare, bony helmet or comb on the head which is surrounded by bare, red and deep blue skin. This differentiates it from the crested guineafowl Guttera edouardi which looks similar to the helmeted guineafowl but has red eyes, a thick top-knot of curly black feathers on the head and a ring of black feathers around the base of the neck. The crested guineafowl is limited to the north-eastern parts of South Africa. The largest type of guineafowl is the vulturine guineafowl Acryllium vulturinum that occurs in north-eastern Africa. It is 61 to 71 cm tall and has a bare head. However, this type of guineafowl is only a distant relative of the helmeted guineafowl and inhabits open savannas and grasslands... (Become a subscriber for more)

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean and P G Ryan (Eds) 2005. Roberts - birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Trust, pp. 81 – 83.

Article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

Click here to buy music, videos and images

SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.