Modern Marvels

The Turkey

Season 15, Ep 35, Aired 11/24/08
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  • Episode Description
  • It's the centerpiece on your Thanksgiving dinner table--and one of the most famous birds in North America. From the moment a baby turkey pecks through its shell to the factory that transforms turkey waste into crude oil, see a world few have ever seen.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Max Raphael

    Narrator

  • Don Cambou

  • Greg Dehart

  • Bruce Nash

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Narrator: It's the main course on our Thanksgiving table. Though maligned for its stupidity, its survived for 11 million years. We grow it, hunt it for sport and turn its innards to oil, it's a pet and a pullet. Plucked, processed and pardoned, now it's The Turkey, on Modern Marvels.

    Trivia (4)

    • Domesticated male turkeys weight 50% more than their wild counterparts. Brain weight is about a third less than in wild turkeys. Most affected it the area that controls vision.

    • On Christmas Eve 1968, astronauts aboard Apollo 8 dined on turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce. The turkey was not dehydrated, but preserved in a special moisture pouch instead.

    • While wild turkey hens lay an average of 9 to 12 eggs a year, only 50% of all their eggs hatch. Between 12 and 24 hours after hatching, poults begin to follow the hens away from their nests.

    • Turkey dung is being used as a fuel source in electric power plants. One such plant in Minnesota provides 55 megawatts of power using fuel derived primarily from almost 500,000 tons of turkey dung per year. It powers about 40,000 homes.

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