As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The first 3-D atlas of the extinct dodo

Date: March 25, 2016
Source: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

For the first time since its extinction, a 3-D atlas of the skeletal anatomy of the dodo has been created, based upon two exceptional dodo skeletons that have remained unstudied for over a century. This atlas represents the culmination of nearly five years of work and thousands of human-hours of digital investigation on the only two associated, near-complete skeletons of the dodo in existence.

The dodo represents one of the best-known examples of extinction caused by humans, yet we know surprisingly little about this flightless pigeon from a scientific perspective. Now, for the first time since its extinction, a 3-D atlas of the skeletal anatomy of the dodo has been created, based upon two exceptional dodo skeletons that have remained unstudied for over a century. This atlas, published as the fifteenth Memoir of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, represents the culmination of nearly five years of work and thousands of man-hours of digital investigation on the only two associated, near-complete skeletons of the dodo in existence.

Published 150 years after Sir Richard Owen's first scientific description of dodo anatomy, based on incomplete, composite skeletons, the new atlas is the first to show accurate relative proportions and to describe several previously unknown bones of the dodo skeleton, including knee caps, ankle and wrist bones. The atlas opens new pathways for the investigation of the paleobiology and evolution of what may arguably be one of the most famous, yet surprisingly poorly known animals that went extinct in recent human history.

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