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A male passenger pigeon, estimated to sell for 8,000-12,000 GBP, is displayed at Summers Place Auctions on November 19, 2015 in Billingshurst, England. | Rob Stothard/Getty Images
Animals

Passenger Pigeon DNA Shows How Large, Stable Populations Can Quickly Go Extinct

The DNA of a long-gone bird reveals that evolutionary success can be short lived, providing a cautionary tale for species today — even humans.

Female and male passenger pigeons from the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum | Brian Boyle, MPA, FPPO photo copyright ROM
Band-tailed pigeons | Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith, Wikimedia Commons