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GALLERIES > BIRDS > COLUMBIFORMES > COLUMBIDAE > TOOTH-BILLED PIGEON [Didunculus strigirostris]


Tooth-billed Pigeon Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Tooth-billed Pigeon, Didunculus strigirostris, also known as Samoan Pigeon, is a medium-sized, approximately 34 cm long, dark pigeon with reddish feet and bare skin around eye. The underparts, head and neck are blackish with a slight blue-green iridescence, and the tail, wings-coverts and tertials are chestnut, while the remaining remiges are blackish. It has a large, curved and hooked orange bill with tooth-like projections on lower mandible. Both sexes are similar, but the juvenile is duller with a black bill with only the base orange.

The only extant member in the monotypic genus Didunculus, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is confined to undisturbed forests of Samoa in the Pacific. It feeds almost exclusively on the fruits of Dysoxylum, a tree in the mahogany family.

The Tooth-billed Pigeon is the national bird of Samoa and is locally known as the Manumea.

The Tooth-billed Pigeon has no close living relative, and may represent a link between the pigeons and the extinct Dodo (Didunculus means "little Dodo"). The jaw and tongue structure, and the superficially parrot-like bill have suggested a relationship to the parrots, but these features have arisen from its specialised diet rather than any real relationship.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range, small population size and occasional natural disasters, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.





                                     



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