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MOSAICS--PATCHWORK PIGEONS Not much has been printed about the why and wherefore of the strangest mark in all of pigeondorn, the Mosaic. I asked one of the finest geneticist in the country to explain this phenomenon to the Internet pigeon surfers. I have included a photograph of a Mosaic for your enlightenment. So, without ftuther ado, here's the lowdown on Mosaics from Tim Kvidera. The term "Mosaic" is used to describe the appearance of two mutually exclusive expressions showing up on the same bird. This typically involves two different colors, or patterns, or both, being expressed in different areas of the bird. But it can also occur with differing feather structure, etc. sometime it will result in one side of the bird looking like one thing while the opposite side looks different, but more often the differences are splotched randomly on the bird. For example a blue bar on one wing and blue check on the other. Or more complicated, a hen that is blue bar on one side and an ash red dilute(cream) bar on the other. Both ash red and wild type (blue) are sex-linked genes. Hens have only one chromosome. So how can a hen be both blue and cream? The actual mechanism for creation of Mosaics is not totality under stood. there may be more then one way that they can happen. Currently one of the more accepted theories is that of "bipatemity". This concept was first put forward by Dr. Willard F. Hollander. It basically says that multiple sperms are responsible for the bird. One sperm actually fertilized the egg, but others got there too. Some of them stuck to the fertilized ovutngot grafted into the developing embryo, and were able to replicate themselves into the Mosaic patches. These competing sperm can be from different cock birds, or from one who is heterozygous for the expressed traits. There has been an observed tendency for Mosaic birds to breed as though they are genetically the color that is expressed on their rump, the area directly above their sex organs. It is rare that a Mosaic will produce a Mosaic. But there appears to be instances where some families of a breed may be more prone to production of Mosaics than others. ( Tim Kvidera, 1999)