Actually we’re talking about peafowl today,
(Figs. 1–4) larger and more elaborate sisters to domestic chickens in the LRT (Fig. 5).
A very chicken-like skeleton
includes metatarsal spurs on Pavo (Fig. 2). Do these arise from a reinvigorating of pedal digit 5? At least the ‘parts’ (= genes) are in the ‘toolbox’ (cells) to do this. Perhaps this is a new expression of those genes, as in the new expression of digit zero in the manus of the screamer (genus Chauna).
That giant famous tail on peacocks
does not prevent them from flying (Fig. 3).
The whole point of a peacock’s feathers
is to catch the eye of a choosy peafowl who will ultimately allow a suitable suitor to mate with her (Fig. 4).
Pavo cristatus (Linneaus 1758) The extant Indian peacock (peafowl) nests between Eogranivora and Gallus in the LRT. Only the male carries the extraordinary plumage.
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.