Micronesia: March 2011 Archives

Islands cover a tiny fraction of the planet's surface, but are home to over half of all extinctions. In this series, we'll introduce you to some of the rare and fascinating animals found on islands.

Unless you are an ornithologist, the word "megapode" might conjure images of a transformer-like creature in your mind. In reality, megapodes, or "incubator birds," are chicken-like birds who are the only type of birds to use something other than their body heat to incubate their eggs. Instead, they bury their eggs under large mounds of sand or decaying vegetation, using geothermal or volcanic heat to warm the eggs. The picture below shows a megapode standing atop his huge incubator mound. Imagine starting your life under a pile of volcanic-heated compost!

800px-Brushturkeykansaszoo.jpgRead on for more information about these unique birds.