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Mauritius: A significant drought would have contributed to the death of a great part of dodo birds 4,200 years ago

Corpulent with a hooked beak, weighing about 20 kilos and measuring slightly more than 70 cm in height and perched on little legs in the shape of flippers, it was believed that the clumsy and overweight endemic dodo had been victim of only hunting for its tender flesh from navigators and the Dutch settlers in the 17th century and which had been the sole cause of its disappearance hitherto known.
However a recent study from the University of Amsterdam of paleontologists has revealed that a significant drought for nearly 50 years, and which occurred ago nearly 4,200 years, equally greatly contributed to reduce the number of dodo birds in Mauritius.
The dodo birds would have thus ended up around Mare aux Songes in the South East of the island before the lake located here became a marsh and dried out. Some dodo birds could still survive until the arrival of the first Dutch navigators.


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