Dodo has become an icon

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Expatica, 11 May 2007: Dodo has become an icon. But you already knew that, don’t you?

The dodo has become an international icon for species that have died out because of human activity.

Fifty dodo experts met in Leiden on Friday to share their still scarce information on the mysterious animal. Dutch scientists found leg and toe bones from a dodo, part of a hip bone, vertebrae and a beak in 2005.

“The fascination for the dodo stems from that fact that so few people saw the bird,” says palaeontologist Anwar Janoo, the only Mauritian at the conference.

Update: the article was removed.

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.

Scientists unearth keys to dodo’s past

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Dodo by Juliet Beentje

Scientists unearth keys to dodo’s past, from MSNBC. The same news of other day, because they are all via Reuters, but I liked the dodo image.

Update: I removed the link since “The page you are seeking has expired and is no longer available at msnbc.com.”

Dodo skeleton find in Mauritius

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Dr Hume

From BBC News Dodo skeleton find in Mauritius: Scientists say they have discovered part of the skeleton of a dodo, the large, flightless bird which became extinct more than 300 years ago.

“It’s a wonderful collection,” said Dr Julian Hume, a research associate with London’s Natural History Museum and a member of the largely Dutch-Mauritian team.

“The chances of a single (intact) bone being preserved [would be] a remarkable event; and here we have a whole collection of them,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

Dr Hume said previous bones had been plucked out in a haphazard way, with little attention given to adjacent dodo fossils or clues about the birds’ environment.

The find includes a complete hip and four leg bones (femur, fibula, tibiotarsus and hypotarsus). Numerous other dodo parts were also unearthed, such as skull fragments, beak bones, vertebrae, wing bones and toe bones.

The same news can also be read at ABC News with a different text or in your favourite journal, since I saw that this is in everywhere. Read also those “old” news, also from BBC: Scientists pinpoint dodo’s demise. Dodos for everybody!

PS.: Thanks to Chris and Jaime for having remembered my dodo blog and sent me the link.

Update: the ABC News link is no longer available, so I removed it.

Dodo Expeditie Weblog

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Dodo Expeditie Weblog

Naturalis, the site of the National Museum of Natural History of Netherlands created a weblog to keep the people informed about new Dodo expedition:

Leiden, 29 May 2006 On Friday, 2 June 2006, an international research team will depart for a 32-day expedition to Mauritius. This expedition will follow up Dutch scientists major find in autumn 2005 of a unique treasure trove of exceptionally rare Dodo remains. The purpose of the current expedition is to reconstruct the world of the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) before Western man set foot on the island of Mauritius and wiped out the species. The expedition will seek to clarify the Dodos ecotope and explain why it became extinct.

The blog is called Dodo Expeditie Weblog and it has almost daily updates with interesting information of what this group of international multidisciplinary team composed by geologists, palaeontologists, botanists, sedimentologists, palynologists, ancient DNA specialists and archaeologists are doing to discover Who or what killed the Dodo. I loved that and I suggest to you sign the blog as I did. Don’t worry, you can chose the English version if your Dutch is so good as mine.

In Dodoland

Scientists to dig up dodo data

Monday, June 19th, 2006

The same news of other day: Scientists to dig up dodo data by Discovery Reports Canada:

Dodobird drawing

Dutch and British researchers just announced a plan to unearth new information on the iconic bird that represents extinct animals everywhere.

Leaders of the Dodo Research Program will go to Mauritius (a remote island in the Indian Ocean) to investigate a mass grave full of remains belonging to the long-extinct flightless bird.

The article has more info about what the scientists now about the dodo and what they don’t know and, the best part, there is a link to an old video: Dodo DNA with animations and an interview! Cool!

Update: the news page and the video are no longer available.

Scientists on the hunt for how dodo died

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

From the ABC News Online Scientists on the hunt for how dodo died.:

Scientists in Mauritius have launched a project to discover why the giant dodo bird became extinct.

Most theories blame settlers who found the plump flightless bird on the Indian Ocean island in the 16th century and began to hunt it relentlessly.

In an attempt to provide a scientific answer, the Dodo Research Program plans to study fossils from a mass dodo grave unearthed in southern Mauritius last October and an adjacent site, using carbon dating techniques and DNA analysis.