The Dodo, 1626.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Facsimile made c 1848 of Roelant Savery's 1626 illustration of the dodo. The dodo (possibly from the Dutch 'dodoor' meaning sluggard) and solitaire were hunted to extinction by Europeans and the domestic pets they introduced. These flightless birds were related to the pigeon and were native to Mauritius and islands to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The common dodo (Raphus cucullatus or Didus ineptus) became extinct from Mauritius c 1665-1670; the Rodriguez solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria) became extinct c 1761; and the Reunion solitaire (Ornithaptera solitaria) became extinct c 1715-1720. Illustration from 'The Dodo and its Kindred' by Hugh Edwin Strickland (1811-1853), published in London in 1848.