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NATURE & GASTRONOMY

  

 

 

  Indian Blue Peafowl

 

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The Indian Blue Peafowl, known is Sanskrit as mayura, is the mount of several Hindu gods and goddesses, including Skanda, Karttikeya, Sarasvati and the goddess Mahamayuri. It has an overall blue head and neck, different from the green colours of the Green Peafowl (fig.).

 

Its scientific name is Argusianus argus. Argus is Greek for ‘All Eyes’ and was the name of Argus o Panoptes, meaning ‘Argus the All-seeing’, a Greek mythological giant with a hundred eyes, and refers here to the multiple eye-like patterns on the bird's tail.

 

  Indian Blue Peafowl

 

  Indian Blue Peafowl

 

It is the National Bird of India, and though native to the Indian subcontinent, it has also been introduced into many parts of the world, leading to the origin of feral populations in many of these regions. The large, colourful feathers, presumed to be tail feathers by many, are actually elongated upper tail coverts. The tail itself is brown and short, as in the peahen. See also List of Thai Animal Names.

INDEX BIRDS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA

See also WILDLIFE PICTURES and POSTAGE STAMPS.