That the eggs laid by birds should offer to some extent characters of utility to systematists is only to be expected, when it is considered that those from the same nest generally bear an extraordinary family likeness to one another, and also that in certain groups the essential peculiarities of the egg-shell are constantly and distinctively characteristic. Thus no one who has ever examined the egg of a duck or of a tinamou would ever be in danger of not referring another tinamou's egg or another duck's, that he might see, to its proper family, and so on with many others.
TINAMOU, the name given in Guiana to a certain bird, as stated in 1741 by P. Barrere (France equinoxiale, p. 138), from whom it was taken and used in a more general sense by Buffon (Hist.
The "Tinamou" of Barrere has been identified with the "Macucagua" described and figured by Marcgrav in 1648, and is the Tinamus major of modern authors.'
To the ordinary spectator Tinamous have much the look of partridges, but the more attentive observer will notice that their Rufous Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens).
All who have eaten it declare the flesh of the Tinamou to have a most delicate taste, as it has a most inviting appearance, the pectoral muscles being semi-opaque.
At least one species of Tinamou has bred not infrequently in confinement, and partly successful attempts to naturalize the species Rhynchotus rufescens have been made in England.