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Scientists Find Preserved Dodo Bird Bones 224

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i-see-dodos-every-day-how-can-they-be-extinct dept.
nz17 writes "BBC News is reporting that a team of Dutch and Mauritian scientists have found what appears to be a mass dodo bird grave. From the article: 'Little is known about the dodo, a famous flightless bird thought to have become extinct in the 17th century. No complete skeleton has ever been found in Mauritius, and the last full set of bones was destroyed in a fire at a museum in Oxford, England, in 1755.'"
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Scientists Find Preserved Dodo Bird Bones

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  • Christmas (Score:2, Funny)

    by JamesD_UK (721413)
    Just in time for the discovery of turkey remains tomorrow!
  • This was clearly planted by an Intelligent Designer to challenge our faith.
    • As soon as you're done with the intelligent design wisecracks, be sure to let the rest of us know so we can resume having somewhat relevant discussions. The only way this is even remotely on topic is if someone wanted to discuss the way evolution left the Dodo an easy prey for extinction. Clearly, however, you were just interested in restarted a theological discussion that's been pretty worn out on Slashdot over the past 2-3 months.
  • Huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by josteos (455905) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:24PM (#14333018)
    I didn't know SCO was headquartered on Mauritius.....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:26PM (#14333024)
    That would be neat if we could clone the birds somehow, I'm not sure if that's possible any more, but maybe in the marrow or something...
  • Well (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:27PM (#14333026)
    Take that DNA, clone those fuckers, raise 'em on a farm, and sell me some Dodo McNuggets!
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:38PM (#14333060) Homepage Journal
      According to the Europeans who came to the island, they were not all that good. From the wikipedia article:

      There is a persistent myth that Dodos were eaten as food for the long voyages between the Cape of Good Hope and Asia, but neither historical nor archeological findings corroborate this. Dodos were hardly ever eaten by the Portuguese, who found the birds hard to eat and very messy. Dutch records concur. The Dutch settlers called it the Walgvogel ("disgusting bird") for the unpleasant taste and texture of the meat. No Dodo bones have been found in the old middens of the Dutch fort Frederik Hendrik.

      Still, I would like to eat one just to add it to my list of animals whose flesh I have made part of myself. So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!
      • So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!

        Perfect time of year to add goose and turkey to that list: both very tasty.

        • by dajak (662256)
          So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!

          Perfect time of year to add goose and turkey to that list: both very tasty.


          Or pheasants, partridges, quails, rabbits, hares. I also missed lamb and horse in that list.

      • In all my life, I've eaten no animal meat, nor fish, nor eggs (well, it is possible that I've occasionally had an item or two by mistake which have had eggs) - although I have had milk, which I suppose is the only animal product I've consumed.

        Ironic. :)
        • Re:Well (Score:4, Funny)

          by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @04:08PM (#14333172)
          In all my life, I've eaten no animal meat...

          That's OK. I'll make up for your share.

        • Ever eat cheese? Unless you look for special vegetarian cheese, most cheese contains rennet, which is generally made from the stomach lining of cows.
        • In all my life, I've eaten no animal meat, nor fish, nor eggs.
          Ironic. :)

          More likely: Iron-deficient.

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Funny)

        by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@ ... a - h u dson.com> on Saturday December 24, 2005 @04:18PM (#14333210) Journal

        Still, I would like to eat one just to add it to my list of animals whose flesh I have made part of myself. So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!

        Just eat a cheap hotdog - you'll be able to add all sorts of organic flesh to your list with every bite.

        • by Shano (179535)

          Not to mention a fair amount of inorganic flesh, if it's anything like the hotdogs I've had.

      • So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich.

        'Pigeon' calls up visions of crap-coated statues. If you call it Rock Dove or squab, it sounds a bit more appetizing.

      • Go to Japan. Find a restaurant that serves basashi -- raw horse flesh. Yum!

        Also you probably don't want to add human to your list for legal or ethical reasons but there is no reason not to try hufu [eathufu.com], the healthy soy-based human flesh alternative!

      • You don't eat a critter into extinction unless it's pretty tasty and delicious. I think the Dutch were just sandbagging so no one would try to elbow in on their dodo action. I think that just like Zoidberg's species found (will find) the anchovy to be irresistable, so too did the Dutch find the dodo to be scrumptious.

        As for your taste for the flesh of obscure critters, I hear petsorfood [petsorfood.com] is running a special on baby seal this week...

      • by rkww (675767)
        No sheep? Or guinea pig? Or goat? Or any kind of fish? Or rabbit? Or horse? Or dog? Or sausage? I am disappointed in you.
      • by ccmay (116316)
        So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!

        Hmm, let's see: Cow, pig, chicken, lamb, goat, turkey, goose, moose, duck, whitetail deer, mule deer, reindeer (caribou! YUM! The best of all), axis deer, fallow deer, elk, Dall sheep, desert bighorn sheep, mountain goat, javelina, kangaroo, chuckwalla lizard, pigeon, dove, emu, ostrich, quail, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, frog, rattlesnake, pronghorn antelope, nilgai, eland,

        • by ccmay (116316)
          Hmm, and I almost forgot: squirrel, buffalo, conch, eels, Cornish game hens, guinea fowl, cuttlefish, clams, mussels, oysters, and abalone. I would also note that I have consumed tasty parts of various animals that are sometimes overlooked in this country, including brain, heart, tongue, kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, bone marrow, and Rocky Mountain oysters (calf testicles.)

          Make room for all of God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

          -ccm

      • What, no TURKEY? No FISH?

        (and no bison - which I found kind of borking, frankly.)
        • The best spaghetti I've had yet has buffalo or beefalo or something meat in it. It was delicious. I've also found that I really enjoy alligator meat.

      •   Still, I would like to eat one just to add it to my list of animals whose flesh I have made part of myself. So far I have eaten cow, pig, chicken, duck, deer, reindeer, whale, kangaroo, pigeon, cornish hen, and ostrich. I need to eat more!

        Doing your part to complete the Cycle of Poo [thelyricssite.com]?

    • Re:Well (Score:2, Funny)

      by ringworlder (867462)
      Another article says that the Dutch named them for tasting very bad. Although, with McNuggets, that might not be far off...
  • by Captain Scurvy (818996) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:42PM (#14333076) Homepage
    Am I the only one who saw "Preserved Doo-doo bones" and thought, "What kind of horrific creature has excrement so large that it needs its own internal bone structure?"
  • Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @03:45PM (#14333084)
    No complete skeleton has ever been found in Mauritius, and the last full set of bones was destroyed in a fire at a museum in Oxford, England, in 1755.'
    Where did the skeleton destroyed in a fire in 1755 originally come from?
    • No idea, but it wasnt an accidental fire. The head of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford decided that their stuffed example of the Dodo was becoming too dirty and fleabitten to be kept, and ordered it to be tossed onto a bonfire. This was the last known complete example.
    • Subject says it all really. They weren't extinct back then and the easiest way to get a complete skeleton is to remove the owner.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:4, Informative)

      by Big Bob the Finder (714285) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @04:50PM (#14333330) Homepage Journal
      Ah! Here we go.

      "Soon Dutch settlers were hopping off ships with their dogs, monkeys, and pigs, and several seasick rats also would scurry ashore at each docking. While the colonists were eating the adult birds, the animals they had brought with them were feasting on the eggs and the young. What could the dodo do? With the exception of its beak, the bird was defenseless. When it tried to run, its big belly scraped on the ground, and it was physically impossible for it to climb a tree to nest out of harm's way. The last dodo on Mauritius was eaten in 1681. By that time a dozen of the birds had made their way to Europe, where one of them became a sideshow attraction in London. Naturalist John Tradescant bought it after its death, had it stuffed, and placed it on the shelf next to his other unusual specimens. The Ashmolean Museum at Oxford acquired the bird in 1683, but during spring cleaning in 1755 the museum's board of directors took one look at the dusty, stupid-looking bird and unanimously voted to discard it. Fortunately, the museum's curator had enough foresight to cut off the head and one foot before he tossed the rest of the world's only stuffed dodo in the trash. The old saying "Out of sight, out of mind" was quite apt in this case."

      That's from:

      http://www.trivia-library.com/c/extinct-animals- the-dodo-bird-part-2.htm

      Because there were no complete specimens, the dodo was thought to be purely mythical. Thanks to some work by a resident of Mauritius, some additional bones were found in the 1850s. Saved from cryptozoology, in effect.

    • ebay.co.uk
  • Dodo eggs were one of his favorite foods along with a pillar of shredded wheat and steamed toast.

    Check to see where he was living 2000 years ago.

  • by simpleguy (5686) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @04:02PM (#14333144) Homepage
    I live in Mauritius. There is word that a team of researchers, mostly foreigners, recently-discovered Dodo bones on a dig site at Mare aux Songes. These bones are said to have been sent to Holland without authorisation from some local authorities who deal with issues of National Heritage. It was not known if these remains were stolen or sent abroad secretly.

    Now, at least we know where the remains are.

    Note: Till date, not enough bones have been found to build a complete Dodo skeleton.
    • These bones are said to have been sent to Holland without authorisation from some local authorities who deal with issues of National Heritage. It was not known if these remains were stolen or sent abroad secretly.

      Third possibility:
      The reasearchers didn't inform the bureaucrats because they didn't think they needed to?
    • A direct ancestor of mine - James Duncan - restored the Garden of Pamplemousses in 1849. There's very little historical record of the man, or of what he did there, but they do have a nice plaque mentioning him. Somewhere. Unless something has eaten it.

      Mauritius is also famous for having a great many highly endangered species. (Think numbers in the single digits.) They're also infamous of having released some, after rebuilding the population in captivity, only for the locals to devour them back out of existe

  • Next Story: The owners of these bones inherit the rights to all license fees; Species with derivative DNA should now be prepared to pay retroactive license fees. Interest to be limited by the laws of South Dakota.

    A shovel: $15
    All your bones: Priceless.
  • Sounds like if they could clone it, dodos would make good domesticated animals. The eggs and bird seem tasty and docile enough.
  • Destroyed in a fire? (Score:3, Informative)

    by karniv0re (746499) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @05:25PM (#14333441) Journal
    Destroyed in a fire? That's a little misleading. It was purposely put in a fire because someone thought it was ugly. It wasn't as if the museum was on fire. Someone walking by tried to save it but only got a few parts out.

    You can find this in the awesome book "A Short History of Nearly Everything."
  • it seems the mystery is solved! the dodo birds all jointed together in a giant cult and then drank the koolaide! i should have suspected.
  • Netcraft. (Score:2, Funny)

    by ilikejam (762039)
    Netcraft confirms it. Dodos.....
  • ...so a new generation of folks can exterminate 'em again!

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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