'Unique' Liverpool pigeon related to dodo

Spotted Green Pigeon and Dodo The spotted green pigeon is presumed extinct and is related to the Dodo

Related Stories

A 230-year-old pigeon held in a Liverpool museum collection has been found to be unique and related to the long extinct dodo.

A team in Australia looked at fragments of DNA from the World Museum's spotted green pigeon as part of a study.

They found the bird, also known as the Liverpool pigeon, was the only remaining example of its species.

Curator of vertebrate zoology Clem Fisher said it was good the bird now had its "correct place in the world".

The pigeon is thought to have been gathered in Tahiti in 1783, when it was described by English doctor John Latham, and is presumed extinct, as no sightings of it have been made since the 1920s.

Dr Fisher said scientists from Griffith University in south-east Queensland had compared "small fragments of ancient DNA from tiny pieces of feather" with those of other species.

Spotted green pigeon The "unique" specimen has gone on display at the museum

She said the study had revealed that the Liverpool pigeon was "unique and a distant relation to the Nicobar Pigeon, the Rodrigues Solitaire and the Dodo of Mauritius".

Three of the four birds are extinct, with only the Nicobar pigeon surviving to the present day.

The Liverpool pigeon, which is usually kept in environmentally-controlled conditions in the museum's archives due to its sensitivity to light, has been put on public display for two weeks.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool

Weather

Liverpool

15 °C 12 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Cool and breezy 08:09:

    BBC Weather reports it'll be cool and breezy at times, as some cloud and outbreaks of showery rain slowly move southwards.

    Weather chart

    Most of the rain should clear south this afternoon, with many places having a dry end to the day.

     
  2.  
    Good morning 08:00: Paul Burnell BBC News

    Good morning. On the day thousands of youngsters open their GCSE results I have fond memories of the day I received mine apart from the moment when the parchment cracked.

    Meanwhile, we will be bringing you the best news, sport, travel and weather from Merseyside or to paraphrase John Lennon - whatever gets you through the day.

    Please get involved by tweeting us, emailing us, or posting on our Facebook page.

     

Features

  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade


  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?


  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.