New Mauritius dodo expedition

This is video about the dodo museum in Mauritius.

Translated from the Dutch dodo expedion blog:

From August 5 to August 22, the Dodo Research Team will be back, digging in the Mare aux Songes marsh in Mauritius. The aim is to investigate what was the effect of extreme climate change on the dodo and other animals and plants of the island. It turned out that the animals in the mass grave suddenly died around 4000 years ago. We think that this has to do with an extreme drought in Mauritius then. This is particularly relevant because current models predict extreme droughts in the region as well.

See also here.

Mauritius kestrel: A conservation success story: here.

Mating call of Mauritian tortoise small price to pay for conservation of forest: here.

Dodo research on Mauritius starts again

This video says about itself:

In this episode we travel to Mauritius to meet the endangered Pink pigeon.

From the Dodo Expedition Weblog 2009:

For the fourth time the international dodo research team will depart to Mauritius.

In this (Dutch) weblog the expedition members share their experiences about working in the mud in the Mare aux Songes. In October last year the team found for the first time bones smaller than one millimeter. Since then the Mare aux Songes dodo collection is worlds most important dodo collection! The researchers are hoping to expand this collection with more discoveries.

But there is more: this year the team will for the first time dig in the dodo-polder itself. Last year we investigated 68 patato bags with fossil soil that was left over from the 2007 expedition, this year we will investigate exactly how the bones are laying in the ground. The way the bones are situated in the ground will tell us more on how the dodos died.

Therefore the team will – layer after layer – dig and investigate the dodo-polder. Our biggest wish is of course to find a whole dodo skeleton.

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Dodo research on Mauritius starting again

This video is about a Night Heron on giant lilypads in Mauritius.

The dodo research at the Mare aux Songes in Mauritius is starting again.

See here.

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Dodo skeleton discovered in Mauritius

Video of pencil sketch of the long gone dodo (sped up).

From Reuters:

Scientists fly into raptures over flightless Fred

Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:23AM EDT

By Ed Harris

BOIS CHERI, Mauritius – The remains of a dodo found in a cave beneath bamboo and tea plantations in Mauritius offer the best chance yet to learn about the extinct flightless bird, a scientist said on Friday.

The discovery was made earlier this month in the Mauritian highlands but the location was kept secret until the recovery of the skeleton, nicknamed “Fred”, was completed on Friday. Four men guarded the site overnight.

Julian Hume, a paleontologist at Britain’s Natural History Museum, told Reuters the remains were likely to yield excellent DNA and other vital clues, because they were found intact, in isolation, and in a cave.

“The geneticists who want to get their hands on this will be skipping down the street,” he said, after bringing the last of the remains to the surface.

Given the nickname “Fred” after the 65-year-old who found them, the remains should provide the first decent specimens of dodo DNA, he said.

“Then you can work out how it actually got to Mauritius, because it must have originally flown here before evolving into flightlessness and the big, fat bird that we know,” he said.

“We know it’s a giant pigeon,” he added.

It the first discovery of dodo remains away from the coastal regions, suggesting that the bird, extinct since the 17th century, lived all over the Indian Ocean island, he said.

Hume said the dodo was almost certainly finished off by animals introduced by Europeans about 400 years ago. Theories that it was hunted to extinction by the Dutch were “total nonsense”, he said, adding that the remains were highly fragile.

“If you try and pick it up, it just falls apart,” he said. “You won’t see a mounted, beautiful thing from this.

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