RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Imagine  >  "So sorry for the bird!". Feathered Mauritius symbol

"So sorry for the bird!". Feathered Mauritius symbol

Автор: 21.04.2019 | history, nature, Mauritius
Figurines of dodo bird “invaded” all souvenir shops of Mauritius and its image even managed to become a national symbol complementing to the country’s emblem. But the most grievous thing of all is that all this glory came to Raphus cucullatus after it was completely extinct from the face of Earth – and it took it less then a hundred years…

Among exotic living creatures walking around seashores of bright unpeopled islands scattered in Indian Ocean the already half-mythic dodo used to walk. There were no predators to hunt the feathered creature therefore it had no need to run fast or levitate. Lush grass and tasty fallen palm fruits had always been available and a year-round summer didn’t let them freeze. Having “noticed” dodo’s sluggish lifestyle, evolution had done its part and dodo eventually lost “unnecessary” features. Only a small cop remained from its tail and merely a pair of useless feathers – from wings. But the birds didn’t even think of getting upset: why move anywhere if there was everything they needed in their motherland? They hadn’t been worried as long as until 17th century. But as soon as first travelers appeared on the coast of future Mauritius, heavenly life of the country’s symbol changed once and for all.

Having landed in the island, the Dutchmen decided that plump and indolent birds would make a great ship stock replenishment. One could have easily approached a credulous dodo without hindrance and simply slaughter it with a stick. Poor things offered no resistance although they had strong beak and generous size. Experience of easy hunting was adopted by the Portuguese. It was them who gave clumsy terricole bird a nickname dodo that meant “stupid” or “idiot” in their language. Yet old stories about several birds shedding bitter tears when forcibly resettled from the island realizing they were never coming back, testify to the contrary. They were nearly tame but couldn’t bare transportation and captivity and were dying during shipment.dodo-259248_960_720.jpgФото pixabay.com

Rats, dogs and cats brought on ships to cut with local livestock, so to say, closed the final chapter in the existence of the species. Baby birds that inhabited nests built right on the ground became tasty lunch for predatory newcomers of Mauritius fauna. This is how the era of poor Raphinae representatives ended swiftly in a little more then half a century…

They were forgotten about by virtually everyone as long as till 19th century when Lewis Carroll mentioned dodo in “Alice in Wonderland” having made it a baseline for one of the characters appearance. And this character’s prototype “in terms of nature” was the writer himself. Due to innate stammer Lewis was articulating his real name as Charles Lutwidge Do-Do-Dodgson. Interestingly, in a couple of years one of the author’s friends, Robinson Duckworth (who became a “double” for another character from the book) got a present from him, a facsimile edition of “Alice” signed: “To Robin Duck from Dodo”.

Upon the book’s publication interest in the bird reemerged. Readers were surprised that a fictional creature turned out to be totally real one, although extinct long time ago. Explorers embarked on a search for remains of the feathered tribe celebrated in the book. The only full specimen in the shape of a dummy was once preserved in London museum until it was pulled apart by rats… Therefore one of the scientists had to go to Mauritius in pursuit of a skeleton. In the process of collecting local legends and long-run archeological digging he managed to obtain what he was looking for after all.pcpaka1anm9faz2mbcre.jpgФото gizmodo.com.au

Soon another finding emerged. As it turned out, the abovementioned dummy wasn’t sent to garbage cans in full, a go-getting employee of the museum tore its head and legs off. Now scientists from Oxford University are trying to recreate the extinct species on the basis of these samples. Recently laboratory staff arrived at first significant results: DNA molecule was finally extracted from the bones found. Experiments are in progress now. The only thing left is to find dodo’s closest living relative (by the way, a number of pigeon species lay claims to the position) and revive the so absurdly extinct birds.

Cover photo de.aliexpress.com

Вам это будет интересно:
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Departure: Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Super-chilled: Best festivals of ice and snow art
Ice and snow has long been used by artists to create different figures and objects, and only 1960, this age-old skill became a new trend of a land art! The largest number of winter artworks is created during special festivals about which we will tell our readers.
Snow-covered peaks. Best winter resorts
The cold season brings not only such important things as wrapping into a reindeer sweater, drinking hot chocolate and once again reviewing Christmas comedies. Thus, sport has not been canceled yet, so OUTLLOK compiled top five ski resort bucket list for you to cheer up and get out of your winter sleep.
Salt to one's liking. The best salt clinics in Europe
According to statistics, about 10% of the globe’s population in one way or another suffer from chronic bronchitis that develop into asthma. More than a half of them are kids. Alongside all kinds of inhalants and other curative means, salt helps airways. Today we’ll tell you about European grooves and mines where millions of people improve their health by dint of minerals.
Silk Road: Tajik Style
Merely on hearing “Silk Road” we picture valiant wanderers and caravans full of precious items and exotic articles that cross countries and continents. Today we tell about Tajik cities that acted as major transfer points on this trading artery.
Touristic Intermezzo
Are you familiar with the feeling of being tired of urbanism? In a closure of a hard day you can’t but feel like having an Intermezzo. It is then when you want to replace everyday well of strong coffee with a cup of crystal clear spring water, alarm clock – with a birdsong, car exhaust – with hugs of mountain fog, TV-staring...
Bolivia: spilt salt spells tourists
It turns out possible to walk in heaven living on Earth. It is enough to go to the south of a small country of Bolivia, to one of the most extraordinary deserts of the world – Uyuni. When looking at pictures of tourists who had been there you can’t help asking: “Are you sure it isn’t Photoshop-made?”
Issyk-Kul: Main Treasure of Kyrgyzstan
Good tourist is not just someone who is always quick off the mark and ready to embark on a journey any minute. It is the one who is also known for an ability to carefully plan holidays six months in advance. If you are one of them and already think where to go in summer - our next story about gigantic Issyk-Kul Lake and kinds of recreation there is for you.
Cabo Verde: Surfing on volcanoes
Today we offer you to come with us to the amazing and picturesque African country of Cabo Verde, where the ocean is everywhere, and every tourist willy-nilly becomes a seafood addict.
Nairobi: Now I have seen everything
Unique nature, the main tectonic fault of our planet, flamingos, giraffes and cheetahs at arm's length - all this and much more in our new article about the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi and its environs.
Underground Brilliance of the Empire: Budapest Metro
After having spent merely an hour for a flight from Kyiv, I suddenly realized I reached the city where continental Europe’s oldest subway is situated. And things that Budapest underground is famous for are not limited to this. OUTLOOK sets on a trip around metropolitan of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Want to go down?
Turkey: The country of natural wonders
A jewel-case of Turkey is full of pure wonders provoking an inspiration for fairy tale writer. When people first see blindingly white mountains in the midst of warm country, they experience various desires: someone wants to fall into white drifts and make a snow angel, as some people imagine that white cliffs taste sweet just like cotton candy...
Canyons: Deep and long
What season can be better than warm months to conquer summits, overcome seas and climb on the rocks? People often make great efforts to enjoy the comfort through the whole lifetime. But sometimes our soul needs some romance, so OUTLOOK presents seven unique canyons.
Between Heaven And... Water: World’s 5 smallest inhabited islands
Each of us wants to escape rush of a city from time to time and lie low somewhere far from everything and anything. And it better be a place where one can listen to whisper of waves, feel light breeze and forever make friends with inimitably loud silence that muffles every disturbing thought…
Animals in the city: When people sing in tune with Nature
Many city dwellers are irritated by cats, dogs or even pigeons in the streets. Attempts of zoo-advocates to save them from attacks of people and from starvation are mainly ineffective. But there are wonderful cities in this world where people perfectly coexist with deer, peacocks and cattle…
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
Timanfaya. Devastatingly beautiful
Canary Islands are not only the sea, beaches and cocktails. They are also the charred history of this part of the earth, the fire-breathing vents and salt mines. Especially hot temper among the rest of the islands, the land of Lanzarote is famous. Earlier on this land, volcanic eruptions occurred with an enviable regularity. Now, here tourists go to see the power of fire and magma and even look into the "underworld".
Grab your sun umbrella and cocktail: The most amazing beaches of the world
With the onset of summer, many of us ever and again cast a glance at the calendar, waiting for annual leave. And since summer vacation to a greater extent is linked to the relaxation by the water, we usually associate it with beaches – desirable destinations that can be very different.
Islands of moonlight and wild jungle
Going to the Comoros a tourist wants to see pure exotic and immediately gets into an oasis of wildlife. "Moonlight" tenderness implicit in Arabic interpretation of the name "Comore" ("moon"), was taken from the neighbouring Madagascar, initially claimed to be called "Comoros".
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page