Tooth-billed pigeons
Live specimen of Didunculus strigirostris in 1901
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Superorder: Columbimorphae
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Subfamily: Raphinae
Tribe: Raphini
Genus: Didunculus
Peale, 1848

Two species, see article

The tooth-billed pigeons are the only genus (Didunculus) of the tribe Raphini, in the pigeon and dove family, (Columbidae). It has no close living relatives, but it has been shown to be genetically close to the dodo,[1] and the genus name Didunculus means "little dodo".[2] 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.


Two species are known:

The Tongan Tooth-billed Pigeon (Didunculus placopedetes) is only known from subfossil[3] remains in several archaeological sites in Tonga dating 2700–2850 BP[4] and now extinct. The Tooth-billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) from Samoa is critically endangered.[5]


  1. ^ Shapiro, B.; Sibthorpe, D.; Rambaut, A.; Austin, J.; Wragg, G. M.; Bininda-Emonds, O. R. P.; Lee, P. L. M.; Cooper, A. (2002). "Flight of the Dodo" (PDF). Science. 295 (5560): 1683. PMID 11872833. doi:10.1126/science.295.5560.1683.  Supplementary information
  2. ^ Rauzon, Mark J. (2007). "Island restoration: Exploring the past, anticipating the future" (PDF). Marine Ornithology. 35 (2): 97–107. 
  3. ^ Hume, J.P.; Walters, M. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. p. 544. ISBN 978-1-4081-5725-1. 
  4. ^ Tyrberg, T. (2009). "Holocene avian extinctions". In Turvey, S.T. Holocene extinctions. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-19-953509-5. 
  5. ^ "Didunculus strigirostris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2015. 

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