Thursday, July 18, 2013

Once and future?

Passenger pigeons at the Denver Museum by Reid. They will be back, here at least. But why do those who would resurrect them plan on using Columba (Bandtail, now) genes for a template for such obvious Zenaida relatives?


Reid Farmer said...

Like I said in my email, they look like mourning doves that have been daubed with paint.

I think it's cool they put a couple of juveniles in the diorama.

The sign next to the diorama says it was made in 1923 and the mounts were made with "old skins" that were collected in the 1890s.

therese said...

The recent genetic work (a variety of mitochondrial and nuclear genes) places passenger pigeons with the band tailed pigeons and pretty distant from the mourning doves. Also, Columbicola extinctus, a species of louse found on passenger pigeon is also found on band tailed pigeons (Columbicola are quite host specific).

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks Therese-- will email at more length.

Are those juvenile spots something very-- forgive my terminology-- "primitive" ie ancestral?