According to my trusty 1878 Chambers’s Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge, “The birds were easily killed, being wholly unable to fly, and running slowly. Their speedy extinction after the islands began to be visited and settled, is thus easily accounted for.”
Maybe it was the shoes?
Acrylic on text & map of Mauritius, 4×5″
Archive for June, 2009
From PhysOrg, The way of the digital dodo: The laser light glowed brilliant red, forming a moving line as it bounced information from the dodo’s bones back into the high-tech scanner sitting on a tripod on the Museum of Comparative Zoology’s (MCZ) fifth floor.
Again and again, the red line traced the contours of the skeletal bird, one of just a handful of complete skeletons of one of the world’s most famous cases of human-caused extinction.
The flightless bird, about the size of a large turkey, was native to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. It became extinct in the mid- to late-1600s from a combination of human hunting, habitat destruction, and predation by introduced animals, including rats, cats, pigs, and dogs.
The laser’s tracings were creating a 3-D digital model of the skeleton, compiled as part of a joint effort between the MCZ’s ornithological collection, overseen by Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Scott Edwards, and Holy Cross College biologist Leon Claessens, an assistant professor whose doctoral work at Harvard and familiarity with the MCZ’s collections led to the collaboration. Claessens received his doctorate in 2006.
The National Science Foundation-funded, three-year effort aims to create 3-D digital models of each species represented in Harvard’s collection of 12,000 bird skeletons. It will make those digital models available on the Internet for researchers around the world. The collection’s digitization will not only vastly expand access to the collections for researchers who can’t afford to travel to Cambridge, it will also make analysis of the specimens far more rapid, using powerful engineering software that creates thousands of data points on each bone that can be manipulated, measured, and used in calculations.
“This project will be useful for people studying the basic morphology of birds,” Edwards said. “In this era of genomics, the size and shape of bones is still very important.”
Claessens, who has been scanning with a group of his students since the “Aves 3D” project got under way in August, said much of the effort is aimed at disarticulated bones of specimens, so that the scanner can image the entire bone, including the ends and surfaces that might not be accessible in an assembled specimen. Researchers interested in the shape and size of a particular bone across different species will be able to call up those bones digitally, rather than traveling to individual museums with calipers, pencil, pad, and camera, as would be required today. Those interested in other aspects of anatomy can manipulate the bones digitally, even reassembling the bird if needed.
Keep reading on PhysOrg.
We’ve been working feverishly around the clock on this new tool which will allow you to age and de-age people, places and things from any browser with Flash 9 enabled.
Here’s a video of Dodo in action:
I saw some pictures of that wooden dodo on Flickr and I was curious to know where all those people were getting the dodos. I’m not sure about all, but MUJI was selling those dodos and the cute wooden animals toys on the session Toys and Children’s Gifts. Too bad I’m late, they are very pretty.
A friend, Avi Alkalay, was in Belgium last year and took those pictures of a store in Bruges (Brugge), Belgium. It’s probably some jewellery, but I couldn’t find any additional information about it. Maybe if I knew some words in Dutch I could had better – any – results. Anyway, a store called dodo with a dodo logo is cool enough, and I’m going to discover something one day, with some luck. Thanks for the photos Avi!
No, I didn’t create a Facebook page for The Dodo Blog – yet. The Dodo don’t have that many reads -yet. (Let’s keep the positive mindset). However, this blog has its own page on NetworkedBlogs, a Facebook application. It doesn’t have many thing: it shows latest post, related blogs, the authors – only me – followers, selected content and you can post messages on the wall, rating the blog and “like” posts (yes, a weird expression for that FB option).
So, if you Facebook user and reader of this blog, how about join as a follower? I would love to “see” you there! (And I also curious to know who is following this blog). Don’t be shy, there are only nice people. If you prefer, there is a widget I added on the left (and only) bar of this blog and you can take a look on the list of followers before you join.
PS.: as all the other FB apps, you need to install it (I think), giving the permission to NetworkedBlogs access your info. They won’t send any bad things to you, but just be sure to check your settings (I usually block almost all of them on FB, including e-mail messages).