Columbidae have unique body feathers, with the shaft being generally broad, strong, and flattened, tapering to a fine point, abruptly. In general, the aftershaft is absent; however, small ones on some tail and wing feathers may be present . Body feathers have very dense, fluffy bases, are attached loosely into the skin, and drop out easily. Possibly serving as a predator avoidance mechanism, large numbers of feathers fall out in the attacker's mouth if the bird is snatched, facilitating the bird's escape. The plumage of the family is variable. Granivorous species tend to have dull plumage, with a few exceptions, whereas the frugivorous species have brightly coloured plumage. The Ptilinopus (fruit doves) are some of the brightest coloured pigeons, with the three endemic species of Fiji and the Indian Ocean Alectroenas being the brightest. Pigeons and doves may be sexually monochromatic or dichromatic. In addition to bright colours, pigeons may sport crests or other ornamentation.
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