Even though the Nicobar pigeon is significantly smaller and drastically different in appearance from the famed dodo, this avian species is funny to look at. You can see one for yourself if you visit the right zoos and exhibits.
The dodo bird has been long extinct and still has relatives living in the world today. This rare creature is the closest living connection to the famous flightless bird which is known as the Nicobar pigeon, although the two don’t look the same. The Nicobar pigeon has vibrant plumage that shines in iridescent blues, coppers, and greens with its reddish legs and small whitetail. The bird has long been isolated on small islands and lacked natural predators. So, this location helped them to develop their colorful characteristic. They were able to develop the brilliant feathers as there’s no need to conceal them.
Scientists Knew That There Were Relatives Of The Dodo Somewhere, And Recently They Found That The Nicobar Pigeon Is The Closest Living Relative Of The Dodo.
The Nicobar pigeon is exactly differing from dodo. It’s beautiful with bright blue, orange, and green feathers.
They have no natural predators as these pigeons live on islands. So they didn’t need to evolve to have camouflage or colors that are dark or muted. The Nicobar pigeon lives in the Pacific and Southeast Asia; and also in the Indian Nicobar Islands, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea.
A Zoologist At The University Of Oxford, Alan Cooper Explained Why It Is So Important To Study Animals Like The Extinct Dodo And The Nicobar Pigeon.
“Island taxa such as the dodo and solitaire often represent extreme examples of evolution—and if we want to examine how we, or the life around us, evolved then such animals are very educational. By examining island birds, we can investigate how evolution works—because extreme examples are often the best views of how something works.”
It Is Exciting To Find The Connection Between The Dodo And The Nicobar Pigeon And Scientists Will Learn A Lot About Both Birds.
Another discovery is that of a dodo body in a cave in Africa.
A scientist with Geological Survey of the Netherlands Kenneth Rijsdijk, added about the importance of the discovery:
“We need to know about the location to understand the ecology of the dodo.”
Another scientist, Beth Shapiro, said:
“We have found tons of bones there, but the hot, wet, acidic environment has meant that the DNA survival has been terrible. From a tiny fragment of DNA, we were able to figure out its taxonomic relationship to other birds and show that dodos were essentially fat pigeons.”
The Mystery Of The Dodo Bird Is Closer To Being Solved.
Scientist can learn more about other animals that live on secluded islands and that are near extinction with these new finding. Scientists also have some insight that they have been looking for for years by the DNA from the dodo body and the connection to the Nicobar pigeon.
Shapiro said: “We are really excited about the new find and hope it might tell us much more about the behavior and appearance of dodos.”
The Nicobar pigeon is already considered “near threatened.” So, we need to take all the action to prevent it from becoming endangered and eventually extinct. The population has caused dwindle due to deforestation and the release of non-native predators. Conservation efforts have been taken to help protect these birds and increase their numbers over time.