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Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 4).djvu/27

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Fig. 1. Turtur suratcnsis.

Order XII. COLUMBÆ.

There is no doubt that Pigeons and Doves must be regarded as forming an Order by themselves. That they are more nearly allied to the Sandgrouse than to any other birds is generally acknowledged, but the differences between the two groups are quite as great as those between some of the other orders here admitted. In some recent classifications the Pigeons have been placed near the Passerine birds chiefly on account of the newly-hatched young being helpless and naked, but this character by itself is of secondary importance, and the anatomy of the Coluinbæ as a whole, as Huxley has shown, resembles that of Gallinaceous birds, though differing in many respects and showing certain affinities to the Owls and Vultures (P. Z. S. 1867, p. 460).