One of the joys of the natural world is its unending variation. Most variation is easily understood, such as the webbed feet of water birds but others leave us asking, “why?”

My question for today is, why do wood pigeons (Columbar palambus) have unusually shaped pupils?

Here is a photo of a wood pigeon:


Note the shape of the pupil of this wood pigeon (Columbar palambus)

Compare the pupil of the wood pigeon above with that of a feral pigeon (Columbar livia):

Feral pigeon pupil

The pupil of a feral pigeon (Columbar livia) is round.


Normally google is a wealth of knowledge, yet when it comes to finding out why there is such a difference in pupil shape it draws a blank.  If you can shine a light on this, please get in touch.