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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick: Turkey, Meet Godzilla (for the Week of Nov. 16, 2008)

November 16, 2008

Q. Dear Twig: Who would win a fight between Godzilla and a turkey? A really big turkey. As big as Godzilla.


A. Well, probably Godzilla would. The turkey could peck him with its pointy beak, kick him with its pointy leg spurs and fly around if it needed to. But Godzilla, if that pecking and kicking hurt him, could heal — could regenerate ("ree-JEN-er-ayt") — quickly. Also, he could blow atomic cloud breath, emit a short-range magnetic pulse and step on major cities. (The turkey could do the last one if it wanted to.)

Godzilla, for his part, roars. Turkeys, Ohio wildlife experts tell us, "make a variety of sounds, including a male's gobble, the hen's yelp and an alarm call that sounds like ‘putt.' "

Godzilla has glowing armored dorsal spines. Turkeys are lacking in that department.

Godzilla can breathe underwater. Turkeys ... can't.

Godzilla, yes, would probably win. But how would he taste stuffed and roasted? Maybe like chicken. Oo! Hey! Pass the Godzilla!



P.S. Godzilla isn't real. He's a movie monster. Turkeys as big as Godzilla aren't real, either. Rats.



Assume that the giant turkey is a wild turkey. A wild turkey can fly as fast as 55 miles an hour over short distances. Most farm turkeys can't fly well or even at all.

Height of Godzilla: 167-267 feet (depending on year, movie). Height of normal, real, actual wild turkey: 30-40 inches.

Sources: Ohio Department of Natural Resources,; Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife,;, (not based on science nor even non-fiction but demonstrating excellent observational skills anyway. "Teeth like steel hooks." Awesome.)

About This:

"Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick," published by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — specifically, by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension, the research and outreach arms, respectively, of the College — is a weekly feature for children about science, nature, farming and the environment. It's written at, to and for a 4th-grade reading level.

For details, to ask Twig a question, and/or to receive the column free by mail or e-mail, contact Kurt Knebusch, CommTech, OSU/OARDC,1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691,, (330) 263-3776.

Online at

Non-Godzilla-endorsed Commercial Twig Book Ad Placement:

Twig has a new book out: Beware the Flying Steamer Duck! Birds and What They Doo (ages 9+, $9.95, 116 pp.) — a compilation of 41 bird-related "Smart Stuff" columns. Order it, if you're so inclined and aren't being chased by Godzilla, or a turkey, either giant or regular, from CommTech, OARDC/OSU, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Make checks payable to Ohio State University. For details, e-mail or call (330) 263-3780. Also, Twig's first two books are now back in print in completely new editions: Purple and Green and Stinky in Spring (bugs, plants, water, wildlife, farming) (ages 9+, 116 pp.) and Hairy Blenny and the Monkeyface Prickleback (freshwater life) (ages 9+, 96 pp.). Both are $9.95 each. Or buy all three for $25.95 and save four bucks.


Kurt Knebusch