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Press Release: Extinct Flightless Bird, Dodo, Goes On Auction

First Posted: Nov 17, 2016 03:30 AM EST

The skeleton of Dodo, an extinct flightless bird, will be held on auction by the Summers Place Auctions on Nov. 22.

The United Kingdom-based auction house announced that it will be selling a 95-percent complete skeleton of Dodo, a very rare composite relic that is expected to sell for over £500,000 (more than $621,350).

Extremely Rare

The Dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Due to the aggressive human population, the species became extinct in late 17th century. They closely resemble pigeons and doves, but they are bigger as they stood 3 feet tall and weighed about 40 pounds.

"When researching the Dodo for one of my books, Dodo: From Extinction to Icon, it became obvious that most museums had acquired their Dodos many years ago and no relatively complete skeleton has been put together since the early 20th century," curator Errol Fuller aid in a press release by Summers Place Auctions [PDF].

"I am sure I won't be the only one among Dodo experts, who thinks that this is an amazingly rare opportunity for the acquisition of one of the great icons of extinction," he added.

The auction's Dodo skeleton was offered by a private collector. It was assembled to create a complete specimen since some of the other composite skeletons from other countries lack certain bone parts.

Other Extinct Animal Relics Also On Auction

However, the auction does not only offer its Dodo skeleton but also other extinct species from Mauritius such as a domed Giant Tortoise skull and carapace section. The Dodo skeleton is part of the Fourth Evolution sale.

In 2013, the auction house sold a Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton to the National History Museum of Denmark for £500,000, as reported by The National.

Summers Place Auctions will be open to the public on Nov. 20 for the Preview of the Fourth Evolution Sale.

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