Natural History Museum Investigates Dido's Remains

By M@ Last edited 156 months ago
Natural History Museum Investigates Dido's Remains

Erm, sorry, there may have been a typo in that heading.

The Natural History Museum. It’s not all about dinosaurs and ice rinks, you know. The popular South Kensington bone house also funds cutting edge research, and engages more than 300 scientists and curators in 60 countries.

Their latest mission is to Mauritius, to investigate a recently discovered cache of dodo remains. The beaksome birds, unfairly famed for their stupidity, died out in the 1660s shortly after the arrival of humans on their island. The new remains are the first to be found in over 80 years and present a treasure trove for scientists. According to Julian Hume of the NHM:

For the first time we will be able to answer questions like how many dodos lived on the island and what did they eat? Young dodo remains may also reveal how they bred and what kind of parents they might have been.

It’s appropriate work for the museum, whose very walls contain dodo imagery. The photo shows a terracotta relief of the extinct bird by Alfred Waterhouse, architect of the NHM. You can also see a stuffed dido in the ancient birds section of the museum...sorry, we really should turn our spell-checker on.

Last Updated 05 January 2006