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The dark golden-green iridescent Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica), one of the largest pigeon species, is the closest living relative of the dodo bird – a flightless giant pigeon that became extinct in the mid-1600s. It is found on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands of India, the Solomon Islands, Palau, and on smaller islands off of the coasts of Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is long-legged, has almost no tail, and features an iridescent purple mane of long hackles. The short tail is white, the iris brown, the bill black, and the feet are dark purplish red with unusual looking orange claws. Nicobar pigeons feed on a variety of seeds, fruit, and small invertebrates. They have a very muscular gizzard, which enables them to eat very hard-shelled nuts.Although it has broad, powerful wings and can be seen flying from island to island, the Nicobar Pigeon is mainly terrestrial and prefers to run rather than fly, which puts it at increased risk from terrestrial predators.
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