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They Do Not Sit

They Do Not Sit image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

It is well knowu that tbe Anstraliau megapod is a bird tbat is accustonied to sit on its egg8. Iu certaiu parts of Australia are found uumerous rnonnda of considerable Rizo and beight which the firsfc explorers took to be burial grounds. These were made by the Megapodius tumulus, which uses thein for hatcbing its eggs. They have sometimos considerable diuaonsious. A nest that is 14 feet high and 55 feet iu circumference niay be regarded as large. Each megapod bulds its own nest with material which it gatbers froin all sides, aud these are exactly what the gardener uses iu the inouth of Mareh to tnake bis forcing beds - uamely, leaves and decomposiag vegetable matter, which, by their fermentatiou, give off an appreciable amount of heat. Li the forcing beds tbis heat hastens the sprouting of the seeds. In the nest it sufocos for the development and hatching of the young birds, and tbe mother can go where she likes and occnpy herself as sbo wishes witlioufc being tronbled by the duties of sUting. Ia tbe small island of Ninafou, in the Pacific, auother bird has a somewhat similar habit, in so far as it also abandona its eggs, but in place of obtainiug the necessary heat from ferluntation it gets it froin warm sand. , The leipoa, or native pheasant of Australia, acts like the megapod and watcbes the temperature of its mouud very closely, covering and uncovering the eggs several timos a day to cool them or heat them as beoomes necessary. After hatching, the young bird remains in the niound several hours. It leaves on the second day, but returns for the uight, and not until the tliird day is it able to leave for good the paternal abode.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News