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Tooth-billed Pigeon Images
The Tooth-billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) also known as Samoan Pigeon, is a pigeon from Samoa.
The species was probably found in October or November 1839, by the United States' Exploring Expedition under Commander Wilkes. The discovery of the bird was announced by Hugh Edwin Strickland in September 1844 as being among the rarities obtained by Mr. Titian Peale, the naturalist of the expedition. The formal description was made by William Jardine (Ann. Nat. Hist. xvi. p. 175, plate 9), under the name of Gnathodon strigirostris, although that genus name was already in use for a mollusc. It is the only extant member in the monotypic genus Didunculus. It has no close living relative, but it has been shown to be genetically close to the dodo, and the genus name Didunculus means "little Dodo". the English name of Dodlet was suggested by Sir Richard Owen. The jaw and tongue structure, and the superficially parrotlike bill have suggested a relationship to the parrots, but these features have arisen from its specialised diet rather than any real relationship.
The tooth-billed Pigeon is a medium-sized, approximately 31 cm long, dark pigeon with reddish feet and bare skin around eye. The underparts, head and neck are blackish with a slight blue-green iridescence, and the tail, wings-coverts and tertials are chestnut, while the remaining remiges are blackish. It has a large, curved, and hooked orange bill with toothlike projections on the lower mandible. Both sexes are similar, but the juvenile is duller, with a black bill with only the base orange.
The Tooth-billed Pigeon is confined to undisturbed forests of Samoa in the Pacific. Natural habitats for the Tooth-billed Pigeon in Samoa include the Central Savai'i Rainforest, Tafua Preserve, Fagaloa Bay Uafato Tiavea Conservation Zone on Upolu Island, and Nu'ulua island. It feeds almost exclusively on the fruits of Dysoxylum, a tree in the mahogany family. Because of ongoing habitat loss, limited range, small population size, and occasional natural disasters, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Tooth-billed Pigeon is the national bird of Samoa and is locally known as the Manumea.