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Rock Dove

(Columba livia)


Category: Birds



Familiar to most people as the common pigeon, these highly adaptive birds have spread from their original ranges in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia to urban locales all over the world. Cities offer them the open environment, cliff-like structures, and food they need to thrive. They have been domesticated for thousands of years – as food, as pets, and as a way of communicating over long distances (carrier pigeons). Some particularly hard-working carrier pigeons have even been awarded bravery medals for their services in saving human lives during war times.




Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Columbiformes
Family - Columbidae
Genus - Columba
Species - C. livia

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Sugar, Honey Honey…

Too much sugar in the diet leads to obesity for humans: if we drink a can of soda pop (which is mostly high fructose corn syrup), the fructose is converted into fat by our livers; drink too many too often, and we end up gaining weight. But for hummingbirds, sugar isn’t something to eat sparingly: it is a source of power! Because of their simple, sugar rich diet, hummingbirds have adapted the ability to fuel their muscles with fructose without first converting it to fat - a feat unique among vertebrates. We do not yet know for sure how they process it so fast, though experiments have demonstrated that they do indeed possess this amazing capability. How fast, you ask? Their metabolisms are so extreme, a human-sized hummingbird would have to drink a can of soda pop every minute in order to gain weight!

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