Birds of a Feather: Genetic Classification Reveals Pigeons' Exceptional Diversity [Slide Show]

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 13:30 in Biology & Nature

Although city dwellers may not want to admit it, humans and pigeons (also known among detractors as "flying rats") have been intertwined since ancient times. We domesticated pigeons between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago, maybe even before we let cats inside our homes . Nowadays there are more than 350 distinct pigeon breeds, each created by artificial selection; many of which so tailored to human preferences they could never survive in the wild. They are so varied, Charles Darwin once remarked, that if they had been discovered in nature, they would have been considered to be several separate species. [More]

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