Flightless birds: when did the dodo become extinct?

Nature. 2003 Nov 20;426(6964):245. doi: 10.1038/426245a.


The extinction of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus L.; Fig. 1) is commonly dated to the last confirmed sighting in 1662, reported by Volkert Evertsz on an islet off Mauritius. By this time, the dodo had become extremely rare - the previous sighting having been 24 years earlier - but the species probably persisted unseen beyond this date. Here we use a statistical method to establish the actual extinction time of the dodo as 1690, almost 30 years after its most recent sighting.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity*
  • Birds / physiology*
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Population Density
  • Statistical Distributions
  • Time Factors