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Still Waters

Extinct relation of the pigeon

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A now extinct giant flightless pigeon from Mauritius used its small but deadly wings to fight off competitors and communicate with mates, according to new research published this week.

Researchers from the Natural History Museum in London studied fossils of the solitaire, officially known as Pezophaps solitaria, and in particular the unique ‘musket ball’ structure on the bird’s wing.

They discovered that the birds used the circular nodes as a way of fighting with other birds and fending off prey.


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