The great theme park turkey leg rumor: Turkey vs. emu

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There have always been rumors the turkey legs sold at the theme parks are actually emu. Both are flightless birds, but there are key differences in these fowls.

Turkeys

Height: 39-49 inches

Weight: 11-24 pounds

Running speed: Up to 20 mph

Eggs: Tan with brown specks

Collective noun: A flock of turkeys

Other, unrelated rumor: Big Bird's costume on Sesame Street is made of turkey feathers.

Emus

Height: 5-6 feet

Weight: 90-120 pounds

Running speed: Up to 40 mph

Eggs: Medium to dark green

Collective noun: A mob of emus

Other, unrelated rumor: An emu was added to the background in a scene of "The Wizard of Oz" to disguise the image of a Munchkin actor who hanged himself.

Sources: University of Illinois, National Geographic, EmuFacts.com

(For the record, Robert Adams, executive chef at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom confirms the turkey legs are not made of emu. "We hear that all the time," he says. "They're real turkeys. It's what they are.")

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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