The Thermometer Bird

Australian Mallee fowl don't sit on their eggs like most birds do to let their body-heat incubate the eggs. They build a large mound of refuse and monitor its temperature with their bill and tongue and when both parents are satisfied the temperature in the mound is “hatching heat” (92°F, 2 degrees either way and the eggs won’t hatch), the hen lays her first egg. She then lays a single egg each week or two, for five or six months.
She lays 15-20 eggs over this time. As each egg is laid, the male opens the mound and carefully moves the egg into the right position. He then prepares the mound for the next egg.
During the incubation the male uses his beak and tongue to ensure the temperature of the mound stays at hatching heat. The bird constantly changes the structure of the mound to maintain the exact temperature. If the heat in the mound increases because of rapidly decaying plant material, he uncovers the eggs to let air circulate around them. When the hot summer sun beats down, he adds sand or soil to the mound. This acts as a shield to protect the eggs.
Each egg needs seven weeks' incubation. The newly hatched chick now has up to 15 hours of grueling work ahead of it. It has to tunnel its way through nearly a yard of soil and debris to reach the open air. Amazingly, the chicks look after themselves from the moment they hatch. How would the male know that he must maintain the temperature through various seasons and weather conditions at exactly 92° or he will not produce any chicks? God. And He is amazing.

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