|Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Turniciformes Family: Turnicidae|
Buttonquails or hemipodes are a small family of birds (15 species) which closely resemble true quails, but are unrelated to them. Turnicidae, traditionally placed in Gruiformes, are distant relatives of rails and crakes. The Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy now puts them in a separate order known as Turniciformes. These small, drab, running birds inhabit warm grassland and avoid flying. They only have 3 toes and are lacking a hind toe (hence the name hemipode which means "half a foot." The females are larger, brighter, more colorful of the two sexes, and initiate courtship. Males incubate the eggs and care for the young. Hemipodes lay lots of eggs like true quails, which hatch in a short time, one of the shortest incubation periods for birds.
India has three species of Turnicidae, all belonging to the genus Turnix.