Dodo skeleton sells for $433,000

A 95% complete dodo skeleton has sold for £346,300 ($432,900) at Summer's Place Auctions.

It was the star lot of the Evolution sale held earlier today.

dodo summers place
There are only a handful of complete dodo skeletons in the world

The bird is a composite, constructed from the bones of a number of different dodos recovered from a swamp on the island of Mauritius.

The dodo was native to the island and was both delicious and flightless, making it easy prey for passing European sailors.

The exact date that it went extinct is unknown, but it's believed to be sometime around the late 1660s.

Interestingly, scientists did not accept it had gone extinct until the 1800s because it was thought extinction was impossible due to God's influence.

Others did not believe it had ever existed, as it was just too weird looking. While a few had been sent to Europe and Japan, in the 1600s the records of their arrival are patchy.  

The Dutch directly addressed its oddness in their name for the dodo, "Walkvogel" meaning "Disgusting bird". This seems quite unfair given how many their sailors ate.

Very few complete or near complete skeletons are known and almost all are housed in museums.

Auction house head, Rupert van der Werff, explained to the BBC: "The rarity and completeness of this specimen cannot be overemphasised.

"It provides a unique opportunity for an individual or an institution to own a specimen of this great icon of extinction."

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