My favorite color pigeon is Ash-Red, but I don't see a lot of them. I figured it must be a recessive phenotype, but when I googled it, I found out it's dominant. So why aren't there more Ash-Red pigeons around?

Edit: I'm in North America.

Edit 2: This website from the University of Utah is where I learned that Ash-Red is the dominant phenotype.

  • $\begingroup$ "I don't see a lot of them" is a bit of a vague statement. Have you checked whether there is some data available that shows that population levels for Ash-red pigeons are low in North America? It could simply be that the pigeons are more timid than other species or that the particular micro-enviorment you live in (it's an assumption here) is not suitable for Ash-red pigeons. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Jun 15 '17 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Good point! Searching for specific numbers of Ash-Red pigeons in North America actually helped me find a book with a really good answer to my question... thank you! $\endgroup$ – ebnhawk Jun 15 '17 at 20:21

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I will assume it is true that the allele causing a ash-red plumage is dominant over all other alleles. Note however that you should cite your reference when making such claim in your post.

Dominance and allele frequency

Phenotypes associated to a dominant allele A aren't necessarily more common than the phenotype of the recessive allele a. It all depends on the allele frequency. If the dominant allele is at low frequency then both AA and Aa (both displaying the dominant phenotype) are at low frequency (esp. AA individuals) and most individuals are aa and show the recessive phenotype.

Learn more

You might want to read about Hardy-Weinberg rule with this post for example.


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