The Dodos Disappeared 4200 Years Ago Following a Severe Drought

9 years, 9 months ago - April 09, 2012
A recent study by paleontologist Hanneke Meijer of the Museum of Natural History in Washington suggests that the disappearance of a vast majority of dodos is due to a severe drought that has hit Mauritius 4200 years ago.

And if the dodos were not only dead in the colonial period? It is suggested that a scientific study conducted since 2005 by the paleontologist Hanneke Meijer, who works for the Museum of Natural History in Washington. It connects the disappearance of many dodos in a severe drought 4200 years ago, which would have transformed one of the few sources of fresh water of the island into a deadly trap for birds muddy Mauritian reports the Huffington Post.

The research, conducted at the site of Mare aux Songes, have brought together the fossils of insects, snails, pollen and plants that lived in the region. The team of American paleontologists thought that many dodos and giant tortoises have perished trying to cross a freshwater lake transformed into a marshy expanse by drought. The bird, unable to fly, would have been a victim of the fatal ambush.   

The carbon dating revealed that their death occurred some 4235 years. A date that coincides with a big drought, observed also in other parts of the world such as Africa and the Andes in South America.

Of the 235 bone fragments excavated from dodos, more than three-quarters from the thighs and legs and show no signs of exposure to the elements or injury by predators. However, if the dodo had died of hunger or thirst, should have their carcasses rotting in the open air before being covered by sediments, exposing them to the decomposition and predator. The team of scientists believes therefore that birds, thirsty, attempted to cross the extent of mud to reach the lake reduced by drought and got caught in a trap (mud). This would explain why their feet and legs, already buried, have been preserved intact. 

A past study had already suggested that the site of the Mare aux Songes, which covers nearly two acres, housed the remains of dodos and 34 000 300 000 giant tortoises that died during the drought period.

Text by lexpress.mu

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