Dutch sailors fishing and building boats, 1598.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Facsilmile made c 1848 of a drawing showing Admiral Jacob Cornelisoon van Neck's (c 1564-1638) expedition which landed on Mauritius in 1598. The dodo (posibly from the Dutch 'dodoor' meaning sluggard) and solitaire were hunted to extinction by Europeans and the domestic pets they introduced. These flightles birds were related to the pigeon and were native to Mauritius and islands to the east of Madagascar. 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.