Physical Traits and Genetics in Pigeons

February 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Believed to have been domesticated in the Mediterranean region up to 5,000 years ago, pigeons are providing new insight into the role of genetics in the development of physical traits. A study being carried out by the University of Utah, in the United States, has revealed that there is an enormous amount of diversity among these birds, with more than 350 breeds of pigeons differing in body size, color, patterning, beak size and shape, posture, skeletal structure, vocalizations, flight behavior and feather placement. Enlisting the help of pigeon breeders around the world, the study focused on the visible traits and genetic relationships of 361 pigeons representing 70 domestic breeds, as well as populations on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Michael Shapiro, assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah, and the senior author of the study which was published in the journal Current Biology earlier this year, noted that it was observed during the study that similar traits can be found in birds that are distantly related, and conversely, closely related birds can at times look quite different. Among the examples cited to support the study is the fact that both the English trumpeter pigeon and the German owl pigeon have crested head feathers despite not being closely related. Furthermore, English trumpeters have feathers on their feet similar to that of English pouters, and yet the two species are not closely related, as is the case of the short beaks shared by the African owl pigeon and the Budapest short-faced tumbler. On the other hand, the closely related African owl and German owl pigeon have short beaks in common, but the African owl has plain head feathers, with the German owl sporting a head crest.

Other interesting findings of the study include the fact that free-living pigeons, such as those commonly found in cities, particularly around statues, carry the DNA of racing pigeons. Some of the traits found in pigeons are likely as a result of selective breeding, as is the case with other domesticated animals, such as dogs, but many of the traits found in pigeons are as a result of adapting to their environment. Shapiro pointed out that many different animals use the same genes in order to build similar body structures, and if scientists can understand which genes are behind normal diversity in the wild through the study of pigeons, this knowledge could ultimately provide insight into diversity in humans, including human disease.

Exotic Bird Expo 2010

May 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

To view a wide range of exotic birds, or to purchase a few special items for your birds at home, get down to the Hickory Metro Convention Center on 10 July 2010, for the 2010 Exotic Bird Expo. The expo will feature a number of baby bird species and vendors that will offer everything related to caged birds, including bird nutrition, toys, bird cages and various other items. It is also an educational experience, and parents are encouraged to bring the entire family to share in the fun and excitement.

For more information, contact the Hickory Metro Convention Center of (828) 324 8600 or contact Paul Hamilton on 704 240 9182.

Date: 10 July 2010
Venue: Hickory Metro Convention Center
City: Hickory
Country: United States of America

Exotic Bird Fair Show Expo 2010

April 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Medina is getting ready to host one of the biggest exotic bird fairs in the state, which will be held on the 23rd of May 2010, at the Medina Fairgrounds. Visitors to the fair can look forward to browsing through a variety of vendor stores selling products such as nesting boxes, perches, bird cages, food cups and bird cages. Breeders will also be attending, with numerous exotic hand raised birds being available for visitors to marvel at and buy. There will also be food stalls, lucky draws and raffles.

For more information in regard to the show and its vendors, visit the official expo website at http://www.exoticbirdfairexpo.com/.

Date: 23 May 2010
Venue: Medina Fairgrounds
City: Medina, Ohio
Country: United States of America

Tropicana Bird Show 2010

April 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

When in Las Vegas, birding enthusiasts should not miss out on the opportunity to see Meko, Mango, Mariah and Dorothy perform live, with bird trainer Tiana Carroll. This colorful and highly entertaining group, has audience members in fits of laughter and amazement, as Meko (Congo-African Grey Parrot) and Dorothy (Yellow-Nape Amazon), perform their duet version of How Much is That Doggie In The Window. Meko (Moluccan Cockatoo), shows off his rollerblade and motorbike skills, while Mariah (Green-Winged Macaw) assists Tiana throughout the show.

The show takes place at the Tropicana, at 11 am, 12:30 pm and again at 2 pm. It is an exotic bird show for the entire family to enjoy.

Date: Every Day
Venue: Tropicana
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Country: United States of America

San Jose Bird Mart 2010

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

From 9 am to 3 pm, on 18 April 2010, the San Jose Bird Mart will be hosted in the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. It is an event for the entire family to enjoy, and is a wheelchair friendly event. This birding event will offer a host of products for visitors to purchase, such as cages, novelty gifts, nutrition and toys. There will of course also be a number of colorful exotic birds for visitors to marvel at, and is the ideal event to find a new member for the family. The San Jose Bird Mart is free to children under the age of five, with adult tickets being $8 and children between the ages of six to twelve paying $2.

To find out more about the show, or how to become a vendor at the event, visit the San Jose Bird Mart website at http://www.sanjosebirdmart.com/.

Date: 18 April 2010
Venue: Santa Clara Fairgrounds
City: San Jose
Country: United States of America

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