Original Research

Aspects of the moult, morphology and anatomy of rock pigeons

A. C. Kok, O. B. Kok
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 8, No 4 | a884 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v8i4.884 | © 1989 A. C. Kok, O. B. Kok | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 1989 | Published: 17 March 1989

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A. C. Kok,, South Africa
O. B. Kok,, South Africa

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Abstract

Aspects of the morphology and anatomy of rock pigeons (Columba guinea) were investigated. Moulting apparently takes place throughout the year at a relatively low intensity. Marked peaks in moulting could only be distinguished for the primaries, secondaries and tail feathers of males. The renewal process for females takes place more irregularly. Apart from the bill dimensions, all standard body measurements of adult males are significantly larger than those of females. The opposite tendency occurs in immatures. Seasonal variation in liver and body mass as well as visible fat content of adult individuals can probably be related to breeding activities and the availability of seasonally abundant food sources. In comparison to the other populations sampled, considerable differences in body mass and fat content were noted for the pigeons from South West Africa.

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