The dodo hunters

Dodo oder Dronte by F. JohnRNW: The dodo hunters by Marnie Chesterton: An international team of scientists are, as I write this, standing in a swamp in Mauritius, looking for dodo bones. They have gone out to excavate a mass dodo grave, uncovered in November by a team of Dutch scientists, led by geoscientist Dr Kenneth Rijsdijk.

Dodos’ extinction continues to have impacts. In 1973, a scientist suggested that the Mauritian tree, the Calvaria or Tambalacoque, was dying out because it had entrusted its reproductive future with the dodo. Seeds from the tree needed to pass through the gut of the dodo before they would sprout.

The Calvaria, a hardwood species, were able to survive for 300 years without the bird but nearly went the same way as the dodo. An ornithologist came to the rescue with turkeys. Seeds from the last 13 trees were fed turkeys, and were suitably digested to start growing into seedlings. However the science behind this story, like so many stories that surround the dodo, is considered unreliable.

Yes, the same news of other days, but her text is very good there are some interesting additional information, – as you can see above -, images and an audio interview (link at the beginning at the text as Real audio or Windows Media).

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