Dodo redemption

Skeleton and model of a dodo Image of dodo bird skeleton and model By BazzaDaRambler - Oxford University Museum of Natural History ... dodo - dead apparently.Uploaded by FunkMonk, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20054563

 

Using computed tomography (CT) scans of an intact skull, researchers have discovered that extinct dodo birds (Raphus cucullatus), despite having a rather silly name, were actually pretty smart. Well, as smart as a pigeon at least, and pigeons are pretty smart. Dodos likely also had a good sense of smell based on measurements of the olfactory portion of the skull. This sense probably came in handy when hunting for food as these were flightless birds.

Researcher Eugenia Gold of Stony Brook University commented in Live Science that the brain was an appropriate size for their body, neither too large or small. In fact, the ratio of the brain to body size was similar to a modern day pigeon.

Source:

Live Science

More like this

tags: Dodo, Raphus cucullatus, birds, ornithology, Mauritius Dodo reconstruction reflecting new research at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Image: Ballista. [larger] The most complete skeleton of an extinct Dodo, Raphus cucullatus, ever found was discovered recently in the highlands…
Image of a deer mouse from Seney Natural History Association, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29576617 Deer mice are known for being quite promiscuous. In fact, it is not uncommon to find a litter of deer mice with multiple fathers. Dr. Hopi Hoekstra and colleagues…
Photo of a pigeon (Columba livia) by Wardrin - Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5739797   With reported lead poisonings in cities such as Flint Michigan, methods to detect risk of exposure are desperately needed. Since pigeons live in close proximity to humans,…
Time to finish one of those long-running series of Tet Zoo articles: at last, the long-awaited, much anticipated third and final instalment in the series on the clubs, spurs, spikes and claws present on the hands of numerous neornithine bird species. If you haven't done so already, do check out…

The Dodo was an excellent example of allopatric speciation, and demonstrates conclusively how a drastic change in the environmental variables leads to crisis and extinction.

By Paul Porter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2016 #permalink