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What is the origin of turkey?

Turkey is short for "turkey-cock" or "turkey-hen," originally the name for the African guinea fowl, and eventually for the Western hemisphere fowl with which the earlier bird was confused. This large gallinaceous bird was found domesticated in Mexico at the discovery of that country in 1518, and was soon introduced into Europe. Two sub-species or species of this were found wild - including the Northern wild turkey, a native of the eastern half of the continent, from Canada and the Missouri region to Texas. The wild original of the domestic fowl of North America was described in print in 1613 by the Pilgrims. When Europeans arrived in America, they noticed similarities between the guinea fowl and the American bird and called the latter turkey. Drintling refers to turkeys' clucking noises and the wishbone of a turkey used to be called the merrythought.

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