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.Фото 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.Фото 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.
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.
To build a settlement on flatland - is this such a hard trick to pull off? A completely different story is when land is self-willed and rock-ribbed both directly and metaphorically speaking. People have been trying to master land and have own say in in-rock urban development for centuries. But only those who succeded in finding common ground with Earth managed to create true novels in stone.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Despite a wide-spread belief, European flea markets have little in common with both second-hand and ordinary trade rows on traditional merchandise markets. These places per se are unique due to a one-of-a-kind reflection of the country’s spirit and what at first glance seems like plain goods may tell you about its past and help feel a spirit of an era.
The Times newspaper edition recognized Ålesund as the most beautiful town in Norway. It is not without reason: wayward sea, mesmerizing northern nature, famous fjords, fabulous multi-coloured houses in the Art Nouveau style and the legendary Trolls' Path, beckon those wishing to see the stunning wild landscapes.
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire. There is a great amount of them in the world, they are striking by their beauty and inimitable. Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
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…
First exhibition of paintings in the world’s most visited museum the Louvre was opened on 1793. But its building was well-known far beyond France, though the edifice was not used with such lofty cultural purposes.
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?".
As a child I could spend hours gazing at the sky and spying majestic flocks of birds winging their way south. For a kid this movement was a real magic. Today my bookshelf hosts almost no books about magic, though I am still excited about feathered tribes travelling in hope to land on their winter grounds.
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.
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.
It is said, the easier it is, the better we feel, however, is it always like that? We know that not all the nations follow this principle. OUTLOOK has found out the strangest, toughest and hard in articulation international languages and would like to share it with the readers.
We are continuing our narration about the most breath-taking national reservations in Africa! There are five more primordial world areas where time hardly slowed down its running being afraid of worrying the natural harmony…
Icy island of Greenland was first discovered by the Norwegian Vikings. This fact is surprising since this nomadic tribe had enough courage to penetrate into the harsh Arctic climate. We will not delve into searching for reasons which led warlike people to edge of the earth, but supply the modern traveller with the list of core Arctic attractions with a unique Greenlandic touch.
Insanely beautiful, raw and refined Africa is exactly the place where one should plunge into a whirlpool of wild nature, taking over an unusual role of a guest in the abode of animals, not vice versa... Here you can free your mind from all artificial and imaginary stuff, feeling like a tiny speck in the vast and exciting world...
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
A thing that for tourists is a reason to click photo cameras in amazement, for local citizens is a source for constant concern and even grave danger. A chain of fire-breathing volcanoes, banded with salt lakes and thermal geysers, is believed to be one of the most astonishing spots on the planet. But one thing is to have a look and leave and completely another – to constantly ‘sit on a powderkeg’.
When, if not now 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.
Our "Peruvian cycle" is replenished with the story of the most revered animals in Peru. Being the link between the present and the past, they play an important role in the life of this nation. Wise ancestors of the modern Peruvians, the ancient Incas, were living in harmony with all life that surrounded them.