MA Residents: Are You Ready For The Return Of An Extinct Bird?
There are reports that scientists are planning to bring back an extinct bird that hasn't walked this earth in centuries. Raphus cucullatus, best known as the dodo is a flightless bird that was prevalent in it's primary habitat to the island of Mauritius, which is located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
A little background regarding this fascinating bird: The dodo's also had genetic relatives including another extinct fowl, The Rodrigues Solitaire. Both species formed the Raphinae sub-family which featured a variety of extinct flightless birds that were a part of the family which includes pigeons and doves among other current birds.. The dodo's closest living relative that is still in existence is the Nicobar pigeon.
(Dodo art work courtesy of Roelandt Savery on exhibit at The Crocker Museum)
Did you know the word "Dodo" is also a slang term for a stupid, dull-witted person, as this fine feathered friend from way back when was flightless and terrestrial and there were no predators or other kinds of natural enemy on Mauritius, statistics show the dodo probably nested on the ground. Reports indicate the last widely accepted sighting of a dodo was in 1662. Its extinction was not immediately noticed, and some considered it to be a myth. In the 19th century, the dodo achieved widespread recognition from its role in the story of "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", as this bird has since become a fixture in popular culture, often as a symbol of extinction. The traditional image of a dodo is of a very fat and clumsy bird, but this view may be exaggerated.
(Photo of dodo reconstruction, courtesy of James Erxleben from the web site: www.biodiversitylibrary.org)
In a recent article on www.whoknew.com's web site, talks are under way to resurrect the dodo back to life courtesy of genetic engineering that will be able to put together DNA findings plus a new and improved system will introduce a bird that was known for his awkward and clumsy walk when trekking into it's natural habitat. This sounds like something from "Jurassic Park" when a group of scientists brought back some of the fiercest dinosaurs to this earth and by now, you know the end result on that story. Modern technology behaving badly, in more ways than one!
Experts are warning the idea of returning an extinct animal back to life is not prudent in nature. After all, the dodo was a quirky, two legged animal as this pre-historic bird would not pose as a danger to humans. Personally, I would like to see a recreation of this unique and interesting bird that has a life span of anywhere between 17 and 21 years of age. If this comes to fruition, get ready to snap some priceless photos. We'll keep you posted on the latest developments, guaranteed!
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.wikipedia.com and www.whoknew.com)
(Featured image of the dodo, courtesy of www.whoknew.com)