Why does a peacock display its feathers?

A peacock displaying its feathers provides one of the most spectacular sights. Do you know the reason behind it? Peacock has a beautiful train of feathers which it displays during the breeding season. It usually attracts several females by such display, but as soon as any of them approaches, it turns its back. The reason for this peculiar behaviour is not clear. But it is certain that this is done to woo the female. In Greek mythology, the pattern of peacock’s tail feathers represents the eyes of Argus — a giant with 100 eyes. Peacock is the national bird of India. It belongs to the family phasianidae. Strictly speaking, the male is a peacock and the female is a peahen. Both are together known as peafowl. There are two species of peafowl. One is found in India and Sri Lanka and is blue in colour. The other species is found in South-East Asia which is green in colour. In fact, peacock is a native of Asia and the East Indies, from where it has been brought to other parts of the world. The male of both species has a 75 centimetres long body and 150 centimetres long tail. The female is smaller than the male. The tail is made up of beautiful feathers. In display, the peacock lifts its tail, brings it forward, enveloping its body as it struts and quivers, audibly rattling the quills and uttering loud screams. Generally, a peacock has a train of up to 150 tail feathers, which are erected by it in display to form a showy fan. The blue peacock’s body is metallic blue- green. The green peacock has a green and bronze body. The hens of both species are green and brown. They do not have the train of feathers or ‘crown’ on them. In the wild, they live in open lowland forests, flocking by day and roosting high in trees. The male usually has a harem of 1-5 hens each of which lays 4-8 buffy or white eggs. Peafowls are omnivorous, i.e. they eat both plants and animals. They can eat young snakes.

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