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1809 Head of a Dodo in George Shaw

1809 Head of a Dodo in George Shaw

C029/0240

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Antique Copper Plate by Mrs. Griffith Published 1809 by G.Kearsley, London for "Zoological Lectures" by George Shaw. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird from the island of Mauritius. Their closest living relatives are the Nicobar pigeon and Didunculus (little dodo). The bird was 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) tall and weighed 10.6–21.1 kg (23–47 lb). It was seldom drawn from life so its appearance is an approximation. Little is known about its habitat and behaviour. It became flightless because of abundant food sources and a relative absence of predators.The first recorded mention of the dodo was in 1598. Hunting by sailors, their domesticated animals, and invasive species drove them to extinction. The last sighting of a dodo was in 1662.

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