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Nature & Environment

Dodo skeleton sells at auction for $430,000

By T.K. Randall
November 24, 2016 · Comment icon 8 comments

The dodo is believed to have gone extinct around 350 years ago. Image Credit: William Hodges
The specimen is the first near-complete dodo skeleton to go up for sale at auction in almost a century.
The dodo, a flightless bird which once inhabited the island of Mauritius, is perhaps the best known example of a species hunted to extinction by man - a creature that has since become synonymous with the idea that our activities on this planet can have dire consequences for other species.

The first reported encounter with a dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598 and by 1662 the species had been completely wiped out due to hunting and the destruction of its habitat.

While many individual bones belonging to the dodo have been found over the years, no complete skeleton currently exists anywhere in the world. There are however a small number of partially complete skeletons created by combining the bones from multiple individuals.
The skeleton which sold at auction this week was around 95% complete and was painstakingly put together by a man who had purchased the bones from various collectors back in the 1970s.

Described as 'amazingly rare', the skeleton sold for $430,000 in West Sussex on Tuesday.

"The dodo bones had been collected by a dodo enthusiast for 40 years until he realized he had enough bones to create an almost complete skeleton of this extinct bird," said Errol Fuller, natural history curator at Summers Place Auctions.

"There are only about 12 similarly complete skeletons in existence and they are all in museums around the world."

Source: Belfast Telegraph | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
And here are 11 more (to date) which we could expect to go up for auction in almost a century:
Comment icon #2 Posted by Still Waters 8 years ago
£346,300 wow his dedication has certainly paid off.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Twin 8 years ago
Dodo cloning assured.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Likely Guy 8 years ago
A preserved cell would be in order. But hell, it's Frankendodo... the serial numbers don't even match. How or why that guy collected enough bones over the years is the real mystery. If that was a car or a rifle, it'd be worthless.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Likely Guy 8 years ago
As a species, we suck. We should try and get better.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
yep, as long as its not getting better at hunting for fun of it. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Gingitsune 8 years ago
Museum DNA doesn't work for cloning yet, but it can be usefull to map the genome. So when we will be able to print DNA and will have artificial eggs, we will have the blueprint.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Myles 8 years ago
I wonder if a preseved cell can be had from a foot or head.   The only extant remains of dodos taken to Europe in the 17th century are a dried head and foot in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History Among these is a dried head, the only soft tissue of the dodo that remains today.

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