More plump than their wild cousins, domestic turkeys nonetheless share similar features, and are in fact considered the same species. Turkeys are distinguishable by the lengthy snood that grows off their nose and the voluminous wattle that springs from their neck.
Turkeys are relative newcomers to domestication. Wild turkeysrange from southern Canada to Mexico, but their domesticationoccurred in northern Mexico around 2000 years ago. It's possiblethat a second domestication event occurred in the southwest UnitedStates as well. In any case, Spanish explorers found domesticatedturkeys among the Aztecs and Pueblo people. Some of these birdswere returned to Europe, where the domesticated breeds spread.Archeologists trying to discover the origin and extent ofdomestication refer to turkey pens, turkey bones with healedinjuries, and significant deposits of turkey egg shells, all signsthat animals have been raised and cared for by humans.