A rare dodo femur bone sold for £3,800 ($5,271) in Sworders’ Out of the Ordinary sale in Stansted, UK on February 13.
The dodo lived in huge numbers on the island of Mauritius, off the coast of Africa.
The dodo femur was found in a swamp in Mauritius (Image: Sworders)
A flightless bird, it enjoyed an Edenic existence free from predators. That is until the arrival of Dutch sailors on the island in the early 1600s.
Historical records suggests the dodo did not taste good. However, the meat kept relatively well on long voyages. The sailors also enjoyed using them for target practice.
The ships also brought colonies of rats, which ate the eggs.
By 1662, the dodo was extinct.
Consignor Errol Fuller, author of the book Dodo from Extinction to Icon, said: “In terms of importance and rarity, the dodo is one of the great icons of extinction.
“Perhaps not as important as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but more so than anything else, little is known about it and only a few images survive – mostly 17th century Dutch paintings.”
The sale also featured a rare FeeJee mermaid, a popular sideshow gaff made by stitching the top half of a monkey to the bottom half of a fish.
Punters would be told the terrifying creature had been caught in a net in the south Pacific.
The piece made £4,500 ($6,242) against a valuation of £2,000 ($2,774), a figure that reflects its rarity.
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