DNA illuminates a mysterious dodo relative

Genetic analysis has helped untangle the ancestry of an enigmatic extinct bird species.

Tim Heupink from Griffith University and colleagues analysed DNA samples from the only surviving specimen of the Spotted Green Pigeon (Caloenas maculata), one of two collected between 1783 and 1851.

The bird was never observed in the wild, and the exact origin of this particular specimen is unknown.

Their findings clarify the Spotted Green Pigeon’s evolutionary place among other pigeons, including the closely-related dodo, and offer insight into what their common ancestor may have looked like.

Read more at Griffith University