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Doves Pigeons and Dodos: Columbiformes

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation StatusGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, DOVES PIGEONS DODOS AND PEOPLE

Pigeons and doves are found worldwide, except in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and at high elevations. Particularly large numbers of species are found in tropical areas, especially those near the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. About 60 percent of pigeons and doves are found on small islands far from continental land masses. Dodos were previously found on several small islands in the Indian Ocean.

Pigeons and doves occupy many habitat types, although most species live in forests. Most pigeons and doves are arboreal, they live in trees. A few tropical pigeons and doves are terrestrial, ground-dwelling, and some occupy cliff faces. Dodos inhabited forests as well.

Most species of pigeons and doves eat primarily seeds, fruits, and leaves. Some also eat invertebrates, animals without backbones, such as insects, though they generally do not form a large part of the diet. One exception is the atoll fruit-dove, which eats large numbers of insects as well as small vertebrates, animals with backbones, such as lizards. Pigeons are also able to drink water by sucking it up directly. Dodos ate fruit, seeds, and other vegetable matter.

Pigeons have long been raised and bred by human beings for food or as pets. Some species have also been trained to transport written messages. Dodos were hunted for food and sport until they became extinct. The passenger pigeon also went extinct due to human hunting.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds