Famous Dodo Was Murdered

By Gary Cutlack on at

The best example of a dodo left on the planet is still dead – scientists aren't that good yet – but they do at least now think they know how it died. Which will bring some closure to the case.

The Oxford Dodo, as it's known, lives on in the form of a well preserved head and foot that have survived since the 17th century, with myth suggesting that it was kept alive for a short time as a pet in London. That idea seems to be as dead as the species itself now, though, as a high-res CT of the creature's skull carried out by the University of Warwick found evidence of a more traditional death.

It seems it was blasted in the head with lead shot, as the scans showed up tiny lead particles in the thing's skull; meaning it was most likely hunted and killed and brought in to be a lovely dinner and did not spend any time enjoying the sights of the UK's capital. Which is a shame, and ruins Alice in Wonderland a bit, as it's believed this dodo inspired Lewis Carroll to whack one of the creatures in the books. [University of Warwick via BBC]