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Press Release 13-013

Mutant Gene Responsible for Pigeons' Head Crests

Decoded genome reveals secrets of pigeon traits and origins

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English trumpeter rock pigeon with head ornamentation called a shell crest

Head ornamentation called a shell crest is seen on this English trumpeter rock pigeon.

Credit: Michael Shapiro


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An Indian fantail with a head crest called a peak crest.

An Indian fantail--one of 350 rock pigeon breeds--displays a head crest called a peak crest.

Credit: Michael Shapiro


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A Jacobin rock pigeon has a head crest known as a hood that hides the bird's face.

A Jacobin rock pigeon has a head crest known as a hood that hides the bird's face.

Credit: Michael Shapiro


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Rock pigeon with a head crest resembling a mane.

A rock pigeon of the breed old Dutch capuchine has a head crest resembling a mane.

Credit: Michael Shapiro


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Feral rock pigeons perched on cliffs near Norfolk in the U.K.

Feral rock pigeons perched on cliffs near Norfolk in the U.K.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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cover of Science magazine

The research team's results are described in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2013


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