Saturday, 3 December 2016

First dodo skeleton in 100 years sold at auction - makes $431000

The first nearly complete dodo skeleton in more than 100 years was sold at auction - more than 350 years after the bird's last confirmed sighting by humans. Known for their slightly comical, ungainly appearance, the flightless birds - most closely related to pigeons - were last seen on the island of Maritius, their sole habitat, in 1662. It's believed the presence of humans brought about their extinction in just 70 years.
Dodos stood around 1m tall and would have weighed between 10 and 20kg. This dodo skeleton comes from a private collector, who started collecting bones in the 1970s and bought the majority then and in the 1980s.

Like most collectors, he spent years adding to his collection and it was only in the early 2000s that he realised he had enough bones (only lacking part of the skull and one set of claws - which have been reconstructed) to construct a skeleton. He then meticulously reassembled them to create as complete a specimen as possible. Any newly discovered bones from the Mare aux Songes swamp - where the vast majority of dodo bones were found in the 19th century – will not be for sale. The Mauritian Government has now banned all exports of dodo bones.