Printer Friendly

Pigeons vary diversely from each other not always due to genetics.

Washington, Jan 20 ( ANI ): Visible traits don't always coincide with genetics, a new study has claimed.

According to the new study conducted by researchers from the University of Utah, a bird from one breed may have huge foot feathers, while a closely related breed does not, yet two unrelated pigeon breeds both may have large foot feathers.

"Most people think of pigeons as rats of the sky, but in fact they're really incredibly diverse," Michael Shapiro, senior author of the study, said.

More than 350 breeds of pigeons differ in colour, colour pattern, body size, beak size and shape, structure of the skeleton, posture, vocalizations, feather placement and flight behaviour.

With the help from pigeon breeders worldwide, the researchers studied the genetic relationships and visible traits of 361 pigeons from 70 domestic breeds and two free-living populations, one from Salt Lake City and the other on Scotland's Isle of Skye.

"What we found through this study is that birds that are only distantly related to each other can have very similar traits, and others that are very closely related to each other can look quite different in terms of their traits," Shapiro said.

In some cases, birds of a feather don't stick together - genetically. The old German owl pigeon and English trumpeter both have head feathers known as a head crest, yet the two pigeon breeds aren't closely related.

In another case, English trumpeters have feathers on their feet instead of scales. So do English pouters. Yet they are not closely related.

Other examples include traits not matching genetics. Pigeon breeds known as the African owl and Budapest short-faced tumbler both have very short beaks, but they are not closely related.

The African owl and old German owl pigeon breeds both have short beaks and are closely related, yet the African owl pigeon has a plain head, while the German owl has a head crest. And the English pouter and Brunner pouter are closely related, yet the former has foot feathers and the latter does not.

The study has been published online in the journal Current Biology. ( ANI )

]]>

Copyright 2012 aninews.in All rights reserved.

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
COPYRIGHT 2012 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 20, 2012
Words:363
Previous Article:Members of military and firefighters have the most stressful jobs.
Next Article:Jolie-Pitt kids spoilt rotten by mummy and daddy.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters