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Pavo (bird)

Temporal range: Late Miocene to present
Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) displaying its tail
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Tribe: Pavonini
Genus: Pavo
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Pavo cristatus (Indian peafowl)
Linnaeus, 1758
A white peafowl

Pavo is a genus of two species in the pheasant family. The two species, along with the Congo peafowl, are known as peafowl.


The genus Pavo was introduced in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae.[1] The genus name is the Latin word for a peacock.[2] The type species is the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus).[3]


The genus contains two species.[4]

Genus PavoLinnaeus, 1758 – two species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Indian peafowl


Pavo cristatus
Linnaeus, 1758
South Asia; introduced elsewhere
Map of range



Green peafowl


Pavo muticus
Linnaeus, 1766

Three subspecies
  • P. m. muticus Linnaeus, 1766
  • P. m. spicifer Shaw, 1804
  • P. m. imperator Delacour, 1949
Southeast Asia
Map of range



Fossil record

In the Pliocene on the Balkan Peninsula, Bravard's peafowl coexisted with ptarmigans (Lagopus sp.)[6] Peafowl were widespread on the Balkan Peninsula and in Southeastern Europe until the end of the Pliocene.[7]


  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 156.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 133.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Pheasants, partridges, francolins". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile (1989). "A peafowl from the Pliocene of Perpignan, France" (PDF). Palaeontology. 32 (2): 439 – via The Palaeontological Association.
  6. ^ Boev, Zlatorar (1998). "Peafowls (g. Pavo Linnaeus, 1758) and Ptarmigans (g. Lagopus Brisson, 1760): an [sic] unique coexistance in North Bulgaria over 3 m. y. ago". - Biogeographia, Nuova Serie, Siena, 19 – 1997: 219-222. doi:10.21426/B6110058
  7. ^ Boev, Z. 2002. Fossil record and disappearance of peafowl (Pavo Linnaeus) from the Balkan Peninsula and Europe (Aves: Phasianidae). – Historia naturalis bulgarica, 14: 109-115.
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Pavo (bird)
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