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domestic pigeon

bird of the family Columbidae (order Columbiformes) that was perhaps the first bird tamed by man. Figurines, mosaics, and coins have portrayed the domestic pigeon since at least 4500 BC (Mesopotamia). From Egyptian times the pigeon has been important as food. Its role as messenger has a long history. Today it is an important laboratory animal, especially in endocrinology and genetics.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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