The Galliformes is an order of birds containing the turkeys, grouse, quails and pheasants. About 256 species are found worldwide.
These birds vary in size from small to large, but they are typically stoutly built and have short thick bills primarily adapted for seed-eating or the consumption of other plant material such as heather shoots. The young birds will also take insects.
Most of these birds are resident, but some of the smaller temperate species, such as quail, do migrate. Many species show distinct differences between the sexes in size or appearance.
- Family: Megapodidae, mound-builders
- Family: Cracidae, chachalacas, guans and curassows
- Family: Tetraonidae, grouse
- Family: Phasianidae, partridges, pheasants, quail, and allies.
- Family: Odontophoridae, New World quail
- Family: Numididae, guineafowl
- Family: Meleagrididae, turkeys
- Family: Mesitornithidae, mesites
family is traditionally listed among the Galliformes, but many authorites now regard it as sufficiently different to list it as a separate order. Similarly, the hoatzin
was formerly listed here, but DNA
comparison has shown clearly that it is a cuckoo
The Anseriformes (ducks and their allies) and the Galliformes are ancestral to neognathous birds, and should follow ratites and tinamous in bird classification systems. See the chart below