DODO (Raphus cucullatus)
The Dodo and the two species of solitaires (family Raphidae) were large, flightless relatives of the pigeon family found on the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. They were forest dwellers but were easy to catch and provided supplies of fresh meat for sailing ships during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. A few specimens were even brought back to Europe alive. The population on Mauritius (the Dodo) became extinct by 1693 but those on Rodriguez and Reuinon (the solitaires) survived to the middle of the 1700s.
A replica of the Dodo, made by Rowland Ward, Ltd., is on display next to the California Condor exhibit.
[Text from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History]