The Dodo is perhaps one of the world’s most famous extinct animals. This flightless bird was only found on the island of Mauritius, where it was first recorded by Dutch sailors in 1598. It became extinct in well under a hundred years, the victim of human hunting, habitat depletion and competition with introduced species.
There are two pelvises on display in Wild Planet. The pelvis of the dodo is dark brown and has the appearance of a dried coconut shell. It is dull and textured on the upper and lower sections and the outer, middle section has a shiny finish.
The pelvis is shaped like a pentagon - approximately 25cm wide at the top then narrows down to 5cm. It is about 30cm long and 5cm deep. The upper section is full width across the top and 15cm long, it narrows into a V shape. Along the centre column are oval holes graduating from pumpkin seed size at the top to walnut size.
The lower section flares out from the narrowed centre column into an irregular oval shape. Underneath the oval shapes is the spinal column. The mid-section that spreads horizontally from each side of the V in the centre of the structure are heart shaped with a smooth, shiny finish.
We don’t know exactly what the Dodo looked like. No complete specimen survives in any museum collection and the 17th century drawings and paintings vary considerably in size, shape and colour. DNA has revealed that the Nicobar Pigeon is the Dodo’s closest living relative.