Even though the dodo bird went extinct almost 400 years ago, a new discovery reveals that its relatives are still living on Earth. A stunning presence due to its vibrant iridescent plumage, the Nicobar pigeon turns out to be dodo’s closest living relative and the last descendent of the species, so far.
“It is probably most similar to the Nicobar Pigeon and is therefore a close relative (or at least a cousin) of the famous dodo,” Dr Vanesa De Pietri, from Canterbury Museum said. “Based on the St Bathans fossils, we think that the Zealandian Dove is part of this Indo-Pacific group.”
They might be relatives, but the rare Nicobar pigeon and the flightless dodo bird look anything alike. It is enough to take a look at the pigeon’s incredibly colorful feathers to notice the difference. But isn’t just the eye-catching as the Nicobar pigeon also has reddish legs and a white tail. The stunning look is a result of their location and due to the lack of natural predators.
As their name says, these gorgeous birds are native to the Indian Nicobar Islands, but they range from Southeast Asia and the Pacific or from Thailand and Papua New Guinea. The species is considered ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN with the population declining as a result of deforestation.
Scroll down to see the Nicobar pigeon’s striking beauty!