DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Engraving of a dodo, an extinct, flightless bird, related to the pigeon. The size of a swan, it was heavily-built and clumsy. Two species were known with certainty: the common dodo Raphus cucullatus from Mauritius, which became extinct between 1665 and 1670, and the Rodriguez solitaire Pezophaps solitaria from the neighbouring island of Rodriguez, which died out around 1761. The dodo's numbers quickly dwindled following the arrival of humans to these isolated habitats. All but defenceless, they were ill-equipped to cope with the new hunters & the competition from other introduced species. Copper engraving from Historia Naturalis Brasiliae, W. Piso & G. Marcgrave, 1658.
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