For our third post we thought we’d hit you with a triple. Common quail (C. coturnix coturnix) and Japanese quail (C. coturnix japonica, sometimes C. japonica) are close relatives in the Pheasant family. Both are migratory, secretive, cryptic, covy-rollin’, round little birds that live in grasslands. Common quail breed in Europe and Asia migrating to other parts of Asia and Africa for the winter. Japanese quail breed in Siberia and parts of Asia, flying to southern Japan and China for the winter.
Japanese quail and Common quail seem to be pretty similar when it comes to looks and life histories. Where they overlap they can even interbreed. The fact is Common quail facts are pretty boring. Even Animal Diversity Web repeats its most interesting paragraph twice. And the first Common quail Youtube video we found was just a slideshow of pics with a creepy computer voice reading the Common quail Wikepedia entry straight.
Luckily because Japanese quail are a model system for studying a bunch of behavioral questions you can find some decent and weird powerfacts on them:
POWERFACT PUBLICATION TITLES! featuring Japanese quail:
- Methamphetamine impairs sexual motivation but not sexual performance in male japanese quail. (Bolin and Akins, 2009)
- Sexual fetishism in a quail (Coturnix japonica) model system: test of reproductive success. (Cetinkaya and Domjan 2006)
Japanese quail are popular sex study subjects because they are down to get busy basically anytime. All males need to start going for it is a taxidermy head of a female with a little bit of neck feathers and a couple of terrycloth covered blocks for a body. If you have a full lady quail body but put a hood on her head, no go. So there’s that.
BONUS POWERFACT! Japanese quail eggs have been hatched on the Mir space station and carried around in Russian and Soviet spacecrafts!