Large strong feet and large claws. Tail of from twelve to eighteen feathers, not always developed. Hind toe long and on same plane as the other toes. No spurs. Plumage dull green-brown. Frequent sandy soil.
The Brush-Turkeys, Maleos, and Megapodes, varying from 10" to 25" in length, differ widely in their habits from all other birds. Their eggs (very large for the size of the bird and laid at considerable intervals) are deposited in the sand or in a mound raised by one or more pairs of birds. The young are hatched fully feathered (without the intervention of the parent bird) and able to fly almost from birth. Limited geographically to Australia, New Guinea, and certain of the adjacent islands. One species (M. nicobariensis), which is found far to the west in the Nicobar Islands, may, however, have been imported. Twenty-six species are known grouped in two subfamilies, viz.—