Morphological diversification among pigeon breeds of different aptitudes
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Although DNA studies are nowadays predominant in phylogenetics, morphological approaches are still a widely accepted approach among the taxonomists. In the present study, the authors tried to construct a cladogram among 20 diverse domestic pigeon breeds of different origin (Asia, Europe and United States) and aptitude group (form, hen, crop, colour, drummer, structure, tumblers and meat) based on 30 morphological traits. In the obtained phylogram, groups overlapped, and no pattern according to areas of origin was detected. We hypothesize that artificial selection for similar aptitudes can have had distinct morphological effects, e.g. there can be many possible constructive traits (new phenotypes that are absent in the wild ancestor Columba livia) for the same purpose. In any case, this analyses exemplifies the complexities of breed formation in domestic pigeon.