Archive for July, 2006

Dodos killed by natural disaster

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

From Reuters: Scientists say dodos killed by natural disaster. Scientists who unearthed a mass dodo grave in Mauritius say they have found evidence showing the birds were killed by a natural disaster long before humans arrived on the Indian Ocean island.

“There are indications that the fossil-rich layer represents the result of natural disaster wiping out a significant part of the Dodo-ecotope,” a statement by the researchers said.

While the latest find does not disprove the human theory, the scientists are convinced there was a mass dodo death, possibly caused by a cyclone or flood, pre-dating the arrival of humans, Christian Foo Kune, owner of the site, told Reuters.

“The fact that there are such a wide range of animals there, small and big ones, suggests that there was a sudden natural disaster,” Foo Kune said. “The mass grave also shows no domestic animals, so it is prior to the arrival of man.”

The bones were thought to be at least 500 years old, he added. “We could be talking about a cyclone or repeated cyclones, flooding or a sudden rise in (sea) water levels that trapped the animals there,” he said.

That’s an extract of the article, which is very interesting indeed. But who am I going to blame now?

Update: Reuters removed the article’s page, and I removed the broken link.

Dodo drawing

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Dodo skeleton at the Naturalis Museum

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Dodo skeleton at the Naturalis Museum

A replica of a Dodo skeleton at the Naturalis Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands, Friday, Dec, 23, 2005. Last October 28, a Dutch-Mauritian research team discovered Dodo remains on the southeastern part of Mauritius, the material’s age is estimated at 2000to 3000 years.

Pike, Réunion dodo

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Pike, Réunion dodo

Pike, Réunion dodo, from the Post Extinction series, by Bethany Fancher.

Update: the page with the original image was removed.