Peafowl is a species of birds that include two Asiatic species (the blue or Indian peafowl originally of India and Sri Lanka and the green peafowl of Myanmar, Indochina, and Java) and one African species (the Congo peafowl native only to the Congo Basin) of bird in the generaPavo and Afropavo of the Phasianidae family, the pheasants and their allies, known for the male's piercing call and, among the Asiatic species, his extravagant eye-spotted tail covert feathers which he displays as part of a courtship ritual. The term peacock is properly reserved for the male; the female is known as a peahen, and the immature offspring are sometimes called peachicks.
The functions of the elaborate iridescentcoloration and large "train" of peacocks have been the subject of extensive scientific debate. Charles Darwin suggested they served to attract females, and the showy features of the males had evolved by sexual selection. More recently, Amotz Zahavi proposed in his handicap theory that these features acted as honest signals of the males' fitness, since less fit males would be disadvantaged by the difficulty of surviving with such large and conspicuous structures.
Peacock is a British narrowboat. She was built as a flyboat for Fellows Morton and Clayton (FMC) at Saltley, Birmingham in 1915, as fleet number 102. FMC had been using a fleet of steam fly boats (including President) since 1889, but in 1912 introduced motor boats such as Peacock into their fleet. 'Fly' boats work day and night non-stop, and with an all male crew the cabins were more spartan than those of long distance family crewed boats.
Peacock worked with FMC's northern fleet until nationalisation in 1948. She was then sold and used as a tug and a houseboat between 1952 and 1993 when she was bought by the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry, part of the Birmingham Museums Trust. Peacock has been described as being in the most original condition of any of the FMC boats: never converted or altered, she still has most of the original fittings. The current engine dates from the 1920s and is a 15hp Bolinder.
Peacock is a star in the southern constellationPavo, near the shared border with the Telescopium constellation. Its name was assigned by Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in the late 1930s during the creation of the Air Almanac, a navigational almanac for the Royal Air Force. Of the fifty-seven stars included in the new almanac, two had no classical names: Epsilon Carinae and Alpha Pavonis. The RAF insisted that all of the stars must have names, so new names were invented. Alpha Pavonis was named "Peacock" ('pavo' is Latin for 'peacock') whilst Epsilon Carinae was called "Avior".