Dodos, Dimwits, and Fat Arses

Saftleven_dodo reduced

 

 

Dodos, Dimwits, and Fat Arses

 

Ever wonder about the knee caps of extinct dodos (Raphus cucullatus)? Thought not. Fortunately for us, the chronically curious make amazing scientific discoveries that challenge our preconceptions about animal extinctions (e.g., the weak, the dim witted, the poorly adapted, the inevitably doomed, etc.).

Dodos are back in the news as paleontologists just published 3-D laser scans of their skeletal anatomy. Too bad paleontologists can’t help us better understand the fossilized human mind. You know, the kind exhibited by anti-science politicians.  But forgive me, I’m getting far ahead of myself.

First, let’s start today’s class by making you a qualified dodo biologist. It’ll be an interesting addition to your resume and make a great party conversation starter.

Plus, if you pass the qualifying exam at the end of this lecture, you’ll earn a free certificate documenting your competency as a dodo biologist. Hang it on your office wall to impress friends and family. Maybe use it as a pick-up line the next time you’re in the bar: “You know I’m also a certified dodo biologist.”

 

Dodo Biology

 

The hapless dodo is an icon of animal extinction and dim-witted dodo-isms (e.g., “dead as a dodo” or “go the way of the dodo”). This large flightless bird was extinct within less than a century of its being discovered in 1598 by Dutch sailers on the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The short version of the story? We ate’m all up.

We also turned loose rats, pigs, dogs, cats, cattle, deer, and other non-native animals like the crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) that helped us with the easy task of extinction by consuming eggs, chicks, or competing directly with dodos for foods such as seeds, fruits, and possibly even crabs and shellfish.

And just in case that wasn’t enough, we cleared forests and destroyed habitat. That’s certainly the basics and about all you need to know, that is, unless you want the certificate.

For the next step in your education, let’s outsource some basic dodo biology succinctly covered by others.  After that, return here for some advanced dodo education, what you might call your dodo capstone course.

But when you do come back, put on your field boots, because we’re going to step right into some dodo doo doo – that is, scientific controversies about dodos.

To get your basic dodo education, go to LiveScience: Dodo Bird Skeleton Reveals Long-Lost Secrets in 3D Scan. See you back here in a minute….

 

Advanced Dodo Biology

 

Now let’s extend your dodo education and begin to make you a real expert. It will surprise some of you where we will next conduct our studies (see: Wikipedia – Dodo).

The world’s public encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is an excellent source of detailed information on the dodo. The article and illustrations presented there form a nice piece of dodo scholarship with numerous supporting sources of information. Before you begin your advanced studies, let’s have a short introduction and class discussion about dodos.

The etymology (i.e., origin and meaning of words) of “dodo” is not entirely certain, but may be related to the Dutch words, Dodoor (“sluggard”) or Dodaars (“fat arse” or “knot arse”). Regardless, it doesn’t indicate that a great deal of esteem was accorded the dodo from the very beginning. 

I’m guessing you’ll be surprised to discover that the dodo is basically a giant ground-dwelling pigeon that looks like it’s on steroids, and that genetic studies place it in the pigeon and dove family (Columbidae). The lack of mammalian herbivores and predators on Mauritius allowed the dodo to give up flying and rapidly evolve its large size.

But sadly, the dodo isn’t the only island-dwelling species in the region that we caused to go extinct. Other largely ground-dwelling pigeons have not faired well in the presence of humans on island systems.

 

Pezophaps_solitaria

(Illustration of Rodriques solitaire (Pezophaps solitaire). Source: Wikipedia. Author: Frederick William Frohawk (1861-1946), an English zoologist. Image in public domain.)

 

A taller, but somewhat similar-looking bird, the Rodrigues solitaire, was found on the island of Rodrigues, farther east of Maritius, but it was also driven to extinction by the late 1700s by the familiar forces of hunting, rats, dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, and habitat destruction. Even less is known about this large bird than the dodo.

Aside from some members of Congress, the nearest living genetic relative to the dodo is the Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobaria). The beauty of the Nicobar pigeon illustrates the wonderful plasticity of evolution.

 

Head_of_Nicobar_Pigeon

Photo: Head of Nicobar pigeon (Cloenas nicobarica). Source: Wikipedia. Author: Trisha Shears. License: CC-BY-SA 2.0

 

Nicobar_Pigeon_820

(Photo: Nicobar pigeon. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Tomfriedel. License: CC-BY-3.0)

 

The Victoria crowned-pigeon (Goura victoria) is another pigeon that appears to be more closely related genetically to the dodo than others in the pigeon and dove family (next photo). While it is a common bird in some zoo collections, habitat destruction and assessments of its population status in the wild suggest that it is near being threatened.

 

Victoria_Crowned_Pigeon

(Photo: Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria). Source: Wikipedia. Author: Bjorn Christian Torrissen. CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.)

 

The Next Dodo Extinction?

 

The Tooth-billed pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) is a large pigeon occurring only in Samoa, and is sometimes called the “little Dodo.” Though more distantly related to the dodo, the tooth-billed pigeon soon may share its unfortunate fate if we are not careful, as it is considered to be critically endangered. There may be less than about 70 to 380 individuals in the wild, and there reportedly is no captive population.

 

Diduncule strigirostre Didunculus strigirostris Tooth-billed Pigeon

(Illustration of the tooth-billed pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris), also known as the manumea. Source: Wikipedia. Author: John Gould (1804-1881). Image in public domain)

 “Surveys suggest that less than 200 birds remain, but the actual population size maybe much lower than this,” biologist Rebecca Stirnemann told mongabay.com in a recent interview. “Over 2.5 years of field work in Samoan forests, I have only sighted ten Manumea in the wild. All sightings were of a single adult bird.” – See: Mongabay.com

 

Several other large pigeons have been suggested to perhaps have some distant genetic affinity with the dodo. The Pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) still has uncertain evolutionary relationships and seems to fill the ecological niche of a small pheasant in their environment in the rainforests of New Guinea. However, from these images you may get the impression of relatively large-bodied and largely ground-dwelling pigeons that may represent the types of avian ancestors that could have evolved into the dodo-like birds when populations became isolated on distant islands and were subjected to unique environmental and evolutionary forces. 

 

 

Otidiphaps_nobilis reduced

(Photo: Pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis). Source: Wikipedia. Author: Greg Hume. CC-BY-SA 3.0 license)

 

When Giants Walked the Land

 

It’s too bad the dodo isn’t just an anomaly of recent human-caused extinction. “Island gigantism” refers to the general phenomenon of species tending to grow larger on islands in the absence of mammalian predators and competitors for food. Foster’s rule, or the island rule, suggests that smaller species colonizing a large island may tend to get larger because of lack of predators and more abundant resources, while already large species (e.g., mammoth), may become smaller because of fewer resources.

 

1280px-Giantbirds

Relative size of a human and Aepyornis maximus (center in purple). Source: Wikpedia. Author: Matt Martyniuk. CC-SA-4.0 International license.)

 

The elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus), perhaps weighing up to 880 lb. (400 kg), is another giant bird on Madagascar believed to have been quickly driven to extinction by humans. The moa (Dinornis novaezelandiae and D. robustus) includes a group of about 9 species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand, the largest of which dwarfed humans, but were easily hunted to extinction by the Māori

 

800px-Dinornis1387

(Sir Richard Owen holding the first discovered moa fossil and standing with a Dinornis skeleton. Source: Wikipedia. Author: John van Voorst. Image in public domain.

 

Many other examples of island gigantism and extinction are known, including giant lagomorphs (rabbits, hares, pikas), eagles, primates, owls, storks, rats, snakes, lizards, tortoises, as well as the dodo’s island companion, the extinct broad-billed parrot (Lophopsittacus mauritianus) from Mauritius. Thus, in this sense, the dodo is hardly an evolutionary novelty as a large, ground-dwelling pigeon. Unfortunately, humans make short work of giants.

 

Dodo Conservation

 

The sad thing about extinction of the dodo is that it could easily have been avoided had we had even part of the scientific knowledge we do now. The dodo appears to have been somewhat amenable to surviving in captivity, as historical reports document that some birds were captured alive and shipped as oddities to London and elsewhere. Indeed, the last known observation of a dodo in captivity was for a bird shipped in 1647 to Nagasaki, Japan.

There is speculation that the chubby body depicted for the dodo in some early drawings actually shows birds that had been fattened up in captivity. The wild dodo often might have been slimmer, especially during the dry season when food may have been more limited. These few historical observations may suggest that the dodo was able to consume a diversity of foods and likely could have been kept in captivity to assist its conservation. We just didn’t know better at the time.

Last-ditch captive breeding programs have a host of problems, including continued loss of genetic diversity, rapid adaptation to captive conditions, diseases, difficulty in providing suitable conditions for breeding, etc. In the end, we’ll not conserve species without conserving the diverse habitats and environments that they need to survive. Zoos and chicken coops will not be sufficient to conserve all the dodo-like species in the world, whether they be birds, mammals, amphibians or any of the multitudes of species now teetering on the edge of extinction.

 

Concluding Thoughts

 

Humans are not designed (wait, wait, wait – that’s a really bad choice of words!). Humans have not evolved to live in or inherently understand closed systems. Concern about extinction is learned, acquired knowledge, as is all of science. How could we know in advance, as a rapidly-evolving naked ape, that we could easily wipe out an entire species by overconsumption, habitat destruction, and accidental impacts of introduced species (e.g., rats, pigs, plants, etc.)?

Even though the rareness of the dodo was reported already in the 17th century, its extinction was not recognised until the 19th century. This was partly because, for religious reasons, extinction was not believed possible until later proved so by Georges Cuvier, and partly because many scientists doubted that the dodo had ever existed. It seemed altogether too strange a creature, and many believed it a myth.

In this sense, we are evolutionarily deficient and must depend on our growing collective knowledge and continued ethical evolution to save life on Earth. Which brings us back to Congress.

Congress is supposed to represent the people. And while doubtful, maybe it does, although that’s a scary thought in its own right. But as much as I love dodos, I don’t recommend electing them to public office.

So before you cast your next ballot for someone for public office, you might first ask them if they’ve yet earned their certificate in dodo biology. If they have, then at least we’d know they are better qualified to represent us when confronting the impending crises of global warming and the projected mass extinction of perhaps 30+% of all species on Earth.

If the dodo teaches us anything, it might be, humility, and think before you act. Consider the complex beauty of life other than human. And if you really screw things up unintentionally, don’t rationalize, deny, and be skeptical of science.  At least admit your mistakes and do the best you can to fix things up. After all, we’re all dodos of one sort or another living on the same planetary island – Earth.

The dodo was not poorly adapted. It was not simply clumsy, dim-witted, and doomed to extinction – except by human ignorance. It lived well on Mauritius in the environment in which it evolved. Humans are the ones that are poorly adapted, at least socially, politically, and economically, to live and let live, and coexist with the rest of all life on Earth. We’re the dimwits who need to undergo rapid evolution if we don’t want to greatly diminish the Earth for all future generations and all future life.

Perhaps we collectively need to get off of our dim-witted, fat arses and evolve our intellect and ethics to realize that life on Earth deserves much more than we currently give it – which would be the space and time to coexist.

End of class. You’re on your own. Good luck with the exam.

 

 

A Dodo Qualifying Exam

 

Hoefnagel_dodo reduced

(Illustration of a dodo c. 1602 by Jacob Hoefnagel. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Jacob Hoefnagel (1573-1632/33). Image in public domain.)

 

Now here’s the hard part. Let’s see if you are able to qualify for a certificate as a dodo biologist. The exam is “on-your-honor.” Answer the questions and short assignments below without looking at what anybody else posts for answers. Then, after you’ve completed your answers to the questions here you may review what the collective community says and decide if your answers deserve a passing grade. If they do, you are welcome to download your certificate as a dodo biologist.

 

The Dodo Exam

 

1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

Also, feel free to conclude by adding any thoughts or opinions you may have about dodos and conservation of dodo-like species in the future.

 

Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:

13) Is the Dodo really extinct?

14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?

Hint: You might explore de-extinction technology with National Geographic.

 

 

Hoefnagel_dodo

 


Download:
 Dodo Biology Certificate 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Classes, School of the Environment, Washington State University:

For those who are interested in taking online science classes and studying the types of ecology and environmental issues covered here in Nature @ WSU, you may contact the WSU Global Campus for information about:

Conservation Biology (Natrs 450 / 550) 3 cr. The science of conserving life on Earth. Dynamics of conserving biological diversity and threatened and endangered species. Junior-senior-graduate standing, next offering Spring Semester, 2015.

Restoration Ecology (Natrs 454) 3 cr., Ecological principles used to restore biological communities, ecological processes, and species on degraded landscapes. Interdisciplinary Capstone Science Course. Senior standing, next offering Fall Semester, 2015.

Environmental Assessment (Envr_Sci 444) 4 cr. Environmental impact statements and their national and state policy frameworks, methods of assessment, and team preparation of an impact statement.

The Science and Policy of Climate Change (Envr_Sci 285) 3 cr. The science of the climate system; the case for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the best policies to do so.

Earth’s History and Evolution (Geology 210) 4 cr. Introduction to Earth’s history and evolution through observations, data collection and analysis, readings, and writing exercises.

The Environment, Human Life, and Sustainabiltiy (Envr_Sci 101) 4 cr. Interactions between humans and their environment; multidisciplinary introduction to environmental concepts and concerns.

 

End Notes:

The serious student of dodo biology will want to explore several key pieces of published literature (see below). Electronic copies (pdf files) for these articles may be found online by using Google Scholar and “Raphus cucullatus” as the search phrase.

Hume, J.P. 2006. The history of the Dodo Raphus cucullatus and the penguin of Mauritius. Historical Biology 18(2):65-89.

Rijskijk, K.F. et al. 2009. Mid-Holocene vertebrate bone Concentration-Lagerstatte on ocean island Mauritius provides a window into the ecosystem of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus). Quaternary Science Reviews 28(1): 14-24.

Shapiro, B. et al. 2002. Flight of the Dodo. Science 295 (5560): 1683-1683.

 

Photo Credits:

Top (cover) photo: (Description: Painting of a dodo head by Cornelius Saftleven (1607-1681) from 1638). Source: Wikipedia. Author: Cornelis Saftleven. License: Photo in public domain.)

 

 

Comments
229 Responses to “Dodos, Dimwits, and Fat Arses”
  1. Iver Hull says:

    1) Dodos were the first to go extinct.

    2) The bird thought to be a third member of the genus was actually an albino, had juvenile plumage that was lighter in color than adults, bleaching occurred during or after taxidermy, or an artist’s creation was simply unrepresentative of the actual coloration of the species.

    3) Historical lineage points to the fact that these species are taxonomically related.

    4) According to the evidence provided, the dodo was more robust and shorter than the solitaire. It is hard to estimate which was bigger based on weight alone because the range of weight estimates varies considerably between the two species and within genders of each species.

    5) No living specimens have been available for viewing for hundreds of years. Obviously no photographs exist either. This leaves us to rely on sketches and written accounts that could easily be skewed and non-representative of the actual appearances.

    6) Differentiation of resources; the dodo evolved with fewer resource restrictions leading it to be less territorial than the Rodriques solitaire.

    7) Its disappearance coincided with the tortoise trade. Tortoise traders reduced solitaire habitat through burning, hunted the species, and released species that preyed upon and competed with solitaires.

    8) It where most excavated remains have come from, leading to the conclusion that it provided the necessary habitat requirements for dodos.

    9) Remaining Tambalacoque individuals, which are endemic to Mauritus and declining in population densities, have estimated ages of approximately 300 years, similar to when dodos went extinct. This led to the conclusion that the causation of the phenomenon had to be correlated. It was believed that Tambalacoque seeds were required to pass through the digestive tract of dodos in order to germinate, a hypothesis that has since been disproven.

    10) Broad-billed parrots may have been dependent upon dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots, before livestock filled this requirement for the parrots.

    11) Misinterpreted sketches of red rails as dodos from dates following the extinction of the dodo.

    12) It is an area of many endemic species that have been isolated for hundreds of years and are not evolved to cope with the numerous introductions of invasive species on the island.

  2. Noah Bryan says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo bird went extinct before the Rodriques.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The bird that was “a potential third species of raphine” is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its physical features such as color.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    the Viti Levu giant pigeon was relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because the birds had similar anatomy. The birds are also in the same family (Columbidae).
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    If you are measuring by weight then the Rodriques solitaire is larger then the Dodo bird; but if you are measuring by the length of wings both species of birds are evenly matched. There is not a lot of information on the size of either birds, but the Rodriques solitaire is taller then the dodo.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is hard to physically describe either the Dodo or Rodriques solitaire because they have both been exstinct for over a hundred years. When these birds existed there was no such thing as cameras so what humans now have to go off of for their appearance is drawings and fossils. Using fossils gives us an idea of how the bird looked but cannot provide specific details on its appearance such as feather arrangement and skin texture.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The habitat of the Dodo bird had a lot more food available then the habitat of the Rodriques solitaire. Over time this made the Rodriques solitaire species more territorial because of competition for food and resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade indirectly effected the Rodriques solitaire population. When the traders came they burned vegetation and introduced new predator s to the species. Some of these predators were pigs and cats who fed on the bird’s chicks and eggs.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first Dodo bird skeleton was found here and many more were later found. This proved that this location was suitable for the Dodo bird and that this might also be where they originated from.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The controversy is about weather or not the Dodo bird had an effect on the reproduction of the Tambalacoque tree. This tree is located in the area where the Dodo bird skeletons were found. The tambalacoque tree species is dying out and the oldest ones still alive are around 300 years old which was around the same time the Dodo bird went extinct. The side arguing the relation between the two species believes that the Dodo bird was the only animal that had stomach acid that could break the seeds dormancy in the fruit of the Tambalacoque tree. If there is no animal to eats the fruit of the Tambalacoque tree and also have a similar stomach acid to the Dodo bird then the tree will fail to reproduce.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The theory is that the Broad-billed parrots’ food source was directly connected to the consumption of food by the Dodo bird. The Dodo birds would eat the palm fruits in the trees and the seeds that were later passed were then eaten by the Broad-billed parrot.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail is another species of bird that has a very similar anatomy. In the 1700s the people discovering these birds got the drawings confused.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    It is only the “tip of the iceberg” because other species living on the island are reducing in population size. This is happening because for thousands of years the animals and plants rarely had to adapt to change. It also seems that the extinction of one species directly or indirectly effects the life of another species.

  3. Thomson Mason Fisher says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The initial misconception was based on an apparent white coloration- however, this specimen either was an albino, a juvenile, the result of taxidermy, or artistic liscence.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon appears to be close relative of the dodo, and was of similar size and physiology.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The solitaire was taller and, on average, heavier, than the Dodo
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    No specimen of either species exists- therefore, the only available descriptions are from contemporary artwork and writings, which are prone to vagueness and inaccuracy.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The island of Rodriques receives less rainfall and is subject to greater seasonal variation than Mauritius, and therefore food and other resources would have been less consistently available. As a result, higher aggression would have been advantageous in the solitaire, so that it could defend its limited resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    If it weren’t for the trade, traders would probably not have arrived at Rodriques in such number; as it is, the traders destroyed the solitaire’s habitat by burning off vegetation, introduced mammalian predators such as rats and cats, and hunted it outright for food.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp has yielded the bulk of the subfossil remains of the Dodo.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was originally thought that Tambalacoque was in serious decline, and this was because it had relied on the Dodo to propagate its seeds. However, more recent evidence suggests that the seeds were most likely propagated by extinct tortoises or parrots, and, in any case, the tree may not be in as steep decline after all.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad-billed parrot may have relied on the Dodo and the tortoise to eat and digest palm fruit, excreting the seeds, which the parrots then fed on.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The terms for red rail and dodo are used interchangeable in many historical records, making it difficult to ascertain which species is actually being discussed.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Due to the island’s isolation and lack of mammalian predators, many of the species endemic to Mauritius went extinct quickly after human settlement on the island- the native organisms had not evolved in the presence of many of the newly introduced animals, and the situation was exacerbated by widespread habitat destruction and degradation.
    Also, feel free to conclude by adding any thoughts or opinions you may have about dodos and conservation of dodo-like species in the future.
     
    Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Given that soft tissue remains of the Dodo are extraordinarily rare and not in good condition, the odds of recovering DNA from them is low. This makes the chances of being able to clone the species back into existence- already a very difficult proposition- very slim. So, yes, barring the discovery of better preserved remains, the Dodo is really exinct, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    Assuming enough DNA could be scavenged from preserved remains to assemble a viable genome for the Dodo, I would attempt to clone the species. The DNA would be injected into the ova of a nicobar pigeon, the closest living relative, after the nicobar DNA had been removed (fairly standard cloning procedures). Depending on the size of the resulting embryos, I would inject them into either unfertilized nicobar eggs, or, if something larger is needed, ostrich eggs. Figuring out the required incubation temperature would require considerable trial and error. Finally, if viable specimens hatch, I would reintroduce them to Mauritius- but only after a significant portion of their original habitat has been restored to forest (or, at least, the closest we can reasonably get). The reintroduction plan would be its own topic entirely…

    -Thomson Mason Fisher

  4. John Kirk says:

    The Dodo Exam

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Most likely the bird that was thought to be a third species was an artist’s rendition. It was believed the specimen showed juvenile plumage traits as well as evidence of bleaching during taxidermy

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the Dodo bird because it has similar taxonomic characteristics so we can possibly learn some learn about how the Dodo’s anatomy functions from it.

    4) The Dodo was shorter and fatter by most accounts but it was hard to tell because many specimens and paintings were possibly captured and fed birds so their stature was unnatural

    5) It is hard to clearly describe either bird due to them becoming extinct so quickly after human presence. We only have limited sketches, paintings, bones, and taxidermied exhibits to learn from. Many times the accounts of people and drawings were long after the actual sighting so there may have been some artistic interpretation.

    6) It appears that the resources on Rodrigues were less abundant than Mauritius due to seasonal rainfall and more seasonal variation. It was also noted that the Roriques solitaire had adapted knobs on their wrist used for fighting off invaders of their territory as well as fractures in wing bones suggesting combat amongst others

    7) The tortoise trade is related to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire. The traders burned the vegetation, hunted Rodriques solitaires, and introduced cats and pigs all impacting their ability to survive.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is where an abundance of Dodo remains have been found giving us an idea an idea of the type of environment that they were usually found in.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The Tambalacoque tree and the Dodo birds were thought to be linked. Many of the remaining trees that are found on Mauritius among Dodo remains are similar in age to the extinction of the Dodo. It was thought that the seeds of the fruit needed to be digested by the Dodo in order to release the seed allowing it to germinate. Scientist now believes that it isn’t as closely linked to the Dodo but possibly other extinct animals or, like the Dodo, it suffered from the introduction of domestic animals and other plants.

    10) The Broad-billed parrot depended on the foraging habits of the Cylindraspis tortoises and the Dodo to eat palm fruit and excrete the seeds, which then became food for the parrot.

    11) Sometime in the 1660s the term Dodo was used interchangeably for the red rail with similar descriptions attached causing for some confusion.

    12) The current extinctions on Mauritius are the tip of the iceberg because due to the volcanic origin, isolation and unique terrain the island is teeming with biodiversity. Many of those species were highly adapted to their unique environment and unequipped to deal with non-native plant and animal species that were introduced as well as the habitat destruction that occurred.

  5. Whitney Garcia Fraga says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Although the recognition of the Dodo’s extinction was not recognized until the 19th century, it is thought to have been extinct in the early 17th century just a few decades before the Rodriques solitaire’s extinction between 1730 and 1750.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Due to the matched description of appearance and behaviour of Raphus solitarius it is more likely an ibis rather than a member of the Raphina group.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire is thought to be taller and slimmer then the Dodo with proportionally longer legs.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Little evidence and observations are present for either the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire. With minimal information and little to no drawings or descriptions it is difficult to describe the physical appearance.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The presence of carpal spurs and knobs, which is characteristic to all extant birds that used as their wings as weapons, are present in the Rodriques solitaire. Evidence in wing fractures also provide evidence of combat.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Although the exact date of extinction for the Rodriques solitaire is unknown, it did coincide with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. The substantial burnout of vegetation, hunting of solitaires and introduction of imported cats and pigs that prey on eggs and chicks overwhelmed and led to the Rodriques solitaire extinction.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first subfossil remains of the dodo were found there.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was hypothesized in the 1970’s that germination and reproduction of new trees could only occur when dodo birds ingested and seeds passed through the dodo’s digestive track. Thus the extinction of the dodo bird had caused a significant decrease in Tambalacoque trees. Within the last 10 years however, research suggests tortoises are also able to disperse the seeds which discredits earlier conclusions.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Contestors to the Tambalacoque tree coextinction with the dodo hypothesis theorize the broad-billed parrot and Cylindraspis tortoise may also have distributed seeds.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Theorists speculate that sighting of the dodo in the late 17th century were actually red rail.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The mass introduction of invasive new species as well as sever habitat destruction for settlements was the driving force for many extinctions in the Mauritius. The dodo’s extinction a mere century after human settlement just shows the severity and long term effects on Mauritius.
    Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Although the tradition idea of the Dodo bird is extinct, its closest relative the “little Dodo” or Manumea is alive and struggling. Just as the Dodo bird of Mauritius was brought into extinction, the Manumea inhabiting the island of Samoa is facing the same fate due to habitat loss, hunting and the introduction of non-native species. The short winged, short bodied round bulky body of the little Dodo allows for flight which is a huge advantage over the Dodo. Little is known outside of territory, which can span long distances and physical attributes. It was thought up until recently, when a single adult was seen, the species was extinct with no sighting in over 10 years. The Manumea is in desperate need of help, their very survival depends on it.
    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    For me the best way to encourage conservation is through knowledge and practice. Sometimes even with the best of intentions we inadvertently decimate a species. When settlers traveled to new land they could not have possibly known or recognized the effects invasive non-native species as well as they would have on the ecosystem. Now however, we do have that kind of information. We have the knowledge, technology and, in most instance, the money to recognize an imminent issue and resolve it before it is too late. Tagging Manumea for monitoring, protecting habitat areas in Samoa and possibly reintegrating them into beneficial environments are all possible scenarios to use our knowledge in practice.

  6. Alison says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) The misconception was likely due to observing an albino bird or possibly an artists creativity. More research shows the Raphus solitarius exhibits more traits in common with the Reunion ibis.
    Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to be a close relative of the dodo, making studying the bird relevant to understanding dodo physiology.
    4) It is thought that the Rodriques solitaire was larger, but the dodo was more robust.
    It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of both the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because they are both extinct with no existing specimen of either. Additionally, neither was studied or documented with much accuracy before their extinction.
    6) The dodo did not have the physiology of a bird that had to fight much. The Rodriques solitaire had a knob on its wings which they used to fight each other over territory and healed fractures in wing bones found lead to the conclusion that these birds fought quite a bit.In comparasion, the dodo had weak pectoral muscles and smaller wings than the Rodrigues solitaire. Mauritius, where the dodo lived, recieved a lot of rainfall resulting in more resources than were available to the Rodriques solitaire. The lack of resources would require the Rodriques solitaire to be more aggressive and territorial.
    7) The tortoise trade brought more people to the island than would otherwise have visited. The sailers/traders burned off vegetation, hunted the birds and introduced cats, rats and pigs. All of these activities led to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is located in eastern Mauritius and some of the first fossil remains of the dodo were found there.
    9) The controversy regarding the dod and “the dodo tree” can be summed up to: is the dodo necessary for the germination of the Tambalacoque? Is this tree really on the decline? In 2004, it was proved that the dodo’s extinction was not directly related to the reduction in trees. In fact the tortoises was likely more important in spreading the seeds.
    10) All of these animals foraged on the ground and the broad-billed parrot needed the dodo or tortoise to ‘pre digest’ seeds for them. The extinction of the dodo and the tortoise caused a reduction in food sources for the parrot.
    11) For some time the red tail and dodo names were used interchangeably for the different birds, resulting in some confusion about which bird was being referred to.
    12) The extinction of the dodo was the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because due to the nature of islands the animals there did not have to adapt very often to changes and once one animal became extinct there were significant ripple effects throughout the island.
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Considering the fact that scientist have an incomplete DNA record for the dodo making any effort to clone impossible. Additionally, the last confirmed sighting was before 1700; yes, I would say the dodo is really extinct.
    14) I know that I am supposed to describe how to use dodo DNA to recreate this extinct animal. Honestly, I won’t resurrect the dodo. Just as introducing new species to a location often causes ripples throughout an ecosystem with negative results; reintroducing a species could potentially cause just as many problems. The dodo was not adapted to deal with the introduction of cats, rats and pigs 300 years ago, it likely won’t be now. Additionally, over the past several hundred years animals, plants, bacteria, etc have been changing in Mauritius so would the dodo even be able to survive? Would we just keep one or two in captivity for our own satisfaction? I am saddened that I will never see a dodo in the flesh but I don’t think we should resurrect one just because we can.
    These extinctions should be lessons for our current environmental policy and we need to strive to co-existing with the living world around us so that their are not unnecessary extinctions in the future.

  7. Joe Parzych says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) The first specimen had a white coloration and was therefore thought to be a third species of raphine. But that was because it was either a juvenile or had feathers bleached by the taxidermist.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon has size and physiology that was very similar to the dodo.
    4) The Rodriguez solitare was larger and weighed more than the dodo.

    5) The only information that we have on their appearance is from artwork and early accounts of the birds. No specimines exist for these animals
    6) Mauritius received more rain and had a more suitable climate, therefore there were more resources and less reason to fight. Rodrigues was less suitable for large numbers of birds, therefore aggression was a more evolutionarily stable strategy.

    7) Traders burned vegetation, hunted solitaires, and released animals that preyed on the birds.
    8) This swamp is where most dodo fossils have been found.

    9) People first thought that the tree relied on dodos to germinate their seeds. Seeds would be consumed by dodos, and after they passed the seeds they germinated. Now, people are saying that seeds were distributed by tortoises and other now extinct animals, suggesting less reliance on the dodo for propagation.

    10) The parrot may have relied on tortoises and dodo birds to digest palm fruit, which they could feed on after it was excreted.

    11) Many historic accounts use terms for red rail and dodo universally, therefore its hard to tell which the authors are referring to.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Humans lead to the demise of many species native to Mauritius through habitat destruction and introduction of non native species. The native species evolved without the presence of large mammalian predators, and when humans introduced these species, natives went extinct.

    13)

    The Dodo is definitely extinct. To resurrect a species using cloning or genetic engineering, one must be able to sequence the genome of the speices, and considering that most samples of dodo tissue are in poor condition, we will likely be unable to resurrect the species in the future.

    14) I would use genetic engineering to sequence the genome of the dodo bird, using the closely related nicobar pigeon to inform parts of the genome that cannot be sequenced. I would grow a germ cell, inject dodo DNA into the nucleus, and implant the germ cell into a nicobar pigeon egg. Through several generations, we could alter the genetics of the offspring until we have a 100% dodo bird. It would likely be difficult to reintroduce them to Mauritius because many of the speices they coexisted with are gone and the habitat has been degraded.

  8. Liz Moffitt says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The Dodo went extinct first in the 1660’s or 1690’s. The Rodriques went extinct in the late 1700’s
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    a. The birds were thought to be the same or similar in the journals of the sailors. Sailors, who visited one island, may have not been to the other island to know the difference in the birds, but only to have heard stories. Apparently when reading the different journal entries there are many inconstancies between the two different birds found on each island. The Reunion ibis has a much different beak, coloring and feathers. There is some confusion as to the color of the Dodo as it has been recorded as white, although it is thought that may have been an albino, or a different bird.
    Another major factor in re-classifying the birds found on Reunion island is the age of the islands. Mauritius and Rodriques are estimated to be 10 million years old, whereas Reunion is thought to be a ‘young’ 3 million years old. The flightless birds on the older island wouldn’t have been able to relocate.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    a. The birds share similar body and genetics, as they are a part of the same general genetic family. Both birds are thought to be members of the crowned pigeon family.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    a. The Rodriques was taller. The Dodo was also noted to have a shorted neck and being more robust. From the readings it seems the Rodriques developed differently as needed for survival on its island. The Dodo seemed to have an easier island with plenty of food- hence the robust size. Also the lack of territorial traits.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. As ‘well documented’ they are via the explorers, it is still very difficult to properly describe the appearance of either bird. The explorer’s journals are spaced apart. Their entries regarding a Dodo are also inconsistent. What is the color? How was the meat? –some liked it and some didn’t. At the time the birds existed there were no cameras and the artists who drew the bird are not always the best, it is also thought many copied an image of another artist. Another challenge is the bones that have since been discovered don’t fully fit the image represented by the explorer’s journals and drawings.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    a. Hume mentions the similar bone structure of each bird, but their behaviors noted in journals are different. As are there visual perceptions, as the dodo is thought to be slumped over, as an obese bird. The Rodriques being territorial would be more active and alert than the dodo, leading to it having a different stance, as having a strong taller posture.
    The article on LiveScience noted the Rodriques had larger wings that were used to fight one another. The Dodo had very small wing that couldn’t be used to defend themselves.
    Also, Mauritius has had a heavier pattern or rain. Allowing for more food to be available, reducing the need for Dodos to be too territorial and fight over food.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. Tortoise trade was popular from 1730- 1750 when it is also expected the Rodriques solitaire went extinct. The traders are said to have burned the island vegetation.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    a. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where the fossilized Dodo bird bones have been discovered. Giving ‘modern’ (they were found in the late 1800’s) biologists some more context and evidence to study.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    a. Some researchers believe the Dodo bird helped the tree regenerate. It was thought that the Dodo bird would eat and digest the seeds, which would then allow it to grow. Although other researchers believe otherwise and claim there are still new trees since the loss of the Dodo.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    a. It is thought that they competed for the same food. And all contributed to assisting the Tambalacoque tree regeneration by processing the seeds in their digestive systems.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    a. In some journals it is unclear if the bird in reference is the dodo or the red rail. This also has faced controversy as the dodo and the red rail should be very different birds. There are some sailor journals that seem to have confused the red rail and Dodo. Claiming sights of the Dodo in the 1660’s, yet specialists who review the journals and have studied Dodo’s believe it they may have been confused. As some of the traits explained in this entry hadn’t been associated with Dodos before, but with red rails.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    a. The Dodo is the first really well documented species to go extinct. In regards to the extinctions on Mauritius, the Dodo was the first to go extinct due to the introduced, invasive species, such as rats and pigs. This is thought to be the first time humans noticed their impact on ecosystems may have negative effects.
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    a. Yes, the Dodo is really extinct. There are similar birds from the same species family. But there is no way of bringing the Dodo back. The birds with similar genetic makeup don’t have the time, or environments to evolve the way the Dodo did.
    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    a. I have no realistic ideas as how to resurrect the Dodo. My knowledge of DNA cloning and such is very little. I doubt there would be a way to use the found DNA to re-create a Dodo bird in the lab. Even if this was possible, what are the chances of this bird surviving in the long term? Also, after 300+ years of extinction, how good of quality would any DNA be for these types of experiments? The DNA base of any resurrected Dodo would be so small there would also be issues with such a small genetic pool and no variation- all incestuous dodos.
    A lab created animal will be kept in captivity for many years. For studying and reproduction until there may be enough to release back into the wild. At that time, how will the Dodo know how to survive on its own? After many years in captivity and interaction with humans, will it struggle to be on its own? Will the resurrected Dodos only live in zoos?
    In addition I don’t think the Dodo should be ‘resurrected’. I imagine the time and money that would be put into re-creating a species and bringing it back to life is very high. The funds for such projects should be invested in species that are currently on the verge of extinction (i.e. rhinos). Helping a species that is currently alive, but will soon be gone I believe is a better use of the resources. Bringing back an extinct species will have many side effects. It will be similar to introducing a new species to an ecosystem, as the Dodo’s old ecosystem has evolved to function without it. It is hard to say how it will fit into the current world.
    In summary I don’t believe the Dodo should, or could be resurrected. Nor do I have a proposal for such actions.

  9. Alexandria Albert says:

    1) The Dodo

    2) The potential third species of raphine is considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its coloration, which resembled that of an albino which could have been the result of taxidermy or an artists rendition.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo because it was found that the pigeon is in the same family lineage.

    4) Rodriques solitaire ideally on average had more mass than the Dodo and was also taller.

    5) It is hard to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because the birds have been extinct for so long. Since no living specimen has been seen for hundreds of years, we are to rely on fossils and artistic renditions of of the time when they were alive, leaving only estimations as to what the birds actually looked like.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire appeared to be highly territorial because the the amount of resources (or lack thereof) found in its region. The Dodo on the other hand, had plenty of food and resources, making it less territorial as it ideally did not have to compete as much for resources like the Rodriques solitaire.

    7) The tortoise trade lead to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire through destruction of their habitat by burning, hunting the birds themselves, and the introduction of new species (pigs and cats) which also preyed upon the birds and their young or their eggs.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is where a good portion of the Dodo remains are found. This indicated that the swamp area was at one time an ideal habitat for the Dodo bird.

    9) The average age of the Tambalacogue population is aproximatly 300 years, which is around the same time when the Dodo went extinct. It is thought that a possibility is that the Tambalacogue relied on the Dodo for reproduction, because only the Dodo had an acidic enough digestive tract that could break the seeds dormancy in the trees fruit. So in theory the tree is at risk of extinction if it lacks its symbiotic counterpart in its specific niche. However, more recent evidence suggests that there was no correlation between the two.

    10) The Broad-billed parrot was thought to rely on the Dodo and Cylindraspis tortoise to consume palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which the parrot could then feed on.

    11) The red rail and the dodo have similar physiology, which lead to confusion between the distinction of the two birds in the 1700s.

    12) It is the “tip of the iceburg” because the island has been isolated for hundreds of years. Plant and animal species there have felt little to no evolutionary pressure, which leaves them very vulnerable to any changing conditions on the island. Introduction of non-native species can pose a serious threat by changing the conditions on the island, and thus jeopardizing the survival of the native species.

  10. Veronika Vazquez says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The specimen had coloration that was similar to that of raphine, which is why they thought it was.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The evolution of the giant pigeon Viti Levu is relevant to dodo studies because the Viti Levu is in the same family and also has a very similar anatomy to that of the dodo.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The solitaire was on average heavier and taller than the dodo.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe these birds because they went extinct over a hundred years ago. Physical descriptions at that time were entirely dependent on written descriptions. There were no cameras or video to capture real representations of the specimens. Today was can look at fossils, but are left misitifed by what kind of feathers or skin

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The environment that Rodriques solitaire lived in had much less food resrouces available. This led to individual territoriality. Contrastingly, the dodo had ample food available to them, and were most likely not as competitive for resources, and therefore territoriality did not evolve.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Tortoises became a traded item which indirectly affected the Rodriques solitaire populations. Traders of tortoises also introduced new predators to the landscape. Predators such as pigs and cats fed on the birds young, including eggs and chicks.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This swamp produced the first dodo skeleton and many more were later extracted. With this info many theorize that perhaps this is where the dodo originated. At the very least, dodo aficionados know that this swamp supported extensive dodo populations.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The controversy here is whether or not the decline of the Tambalacoque can be attributed to the decline in dodos. It had previously been thought that Tambalacoque seeds required ingestion by dodos in order to germinate. However, recent studies have suggested that Tambalacoque seeds may have actually been propagated by extinct parrots or tortoises. Now scientists postulate that the decline of Tambalacoque is not so heavily associated with the decline of the dodo.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It is possible that broad-billed parrots were dependent on dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds as foods for the broad-billed parrots.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail has a very similar anatomy to the dodo. Also, in sketches from this time the terms dodo and red rail are used interchangeably. Misinterpreted sketches during the 1700’s confuse the dates of dodo extinction.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The geology of Mauritius has led to extreme biodiversity and highly specialized species. The inhabitants of Mauritius were completely unfit to compete with invasive and non-native species that were introduced.

  11. Julius Bush says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Last sighting of a dodo in 1665. Rodrigues driven to extinction in the late 1700s.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Due to color and other physical differences that were confused by drawings.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Subfossils were found in Fiji and it was also a flightless bird slightly smaller than the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Dodo was more robust and shorter. Rodrigues was taller.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    1) No species exist. 2) Drawings are primary evidence. 3) No descriptions by scientists only “guides for future voyages”.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    Mauritius received more rainfall and less seasonal variation than Rodrifues which did not require the dodo to compete due to adequate resources and less competition.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The saddle-backed Mauritius giant tortoise and domed Mauritius giant tortoise lived with dodos and all became extinct once humans arrived.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Large amount of subfossil material has been collected from the swamp.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was a possibility that the Tambalacoque depened on dispersion by dodos. They would need to eat the seeds and their digestive acids allowed for germination after passing the seed. Once the dodo became extinct, the Tambalacoque became extinct as well.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It has been suggested that the broad billed parrot depended on dodos and cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds which became food for the parrots. Interspecies dependency.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Descriptions after 1662 use the names dodo and dodaers when referring to red rails.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    This can be said because they were the main focus however, “the rest of the iceberg” or other species on Mauritius became extinct after humans arrived. The unseen affects following the dodo’s extinction can be observed with dependent species like the broad-billed parrot or other animals that became part of trade.

  12. Cassidy Radtke says:

    1) The Dodo is estimated to have gone extinct by about 1693, whereas the Rodrigues solitaire went extinct sometime in the 1700s.

    2) Raphus solitarius was believed to be a species of white dodo living on neighboring Réunion, due to someone confusing accounts of a white, flightless bird for a description of a dodo, and paintings of the bird was assumed to be dodos as well. They have now been identified as being not dodos but ibises.

    3) Dodos are descended from pigeons who probably arrived on the island around the time of its creation, and subsequently grew large and flightless due to lack of mammalian competition that would normally keep them off the ground. The giant pigeon is another species which may be closely related and went through a similar evolutionary change after arriving on a small island.

    4) The dodo is described as being about a meter tall and weighed up to 50 pounds, whereas the smaller Rodrigues solitaire was about the size of a swan.

    5) Both birds were encountered and went extinct in a time before humans realized extinction existed. There was no attempt to study them in detail until after they had all died out. What is left over are fragmented and fragile skeletons, one dried head and foot of a dodo, and various paintings, many of which could be wildly inaccurate due to them either being created based on badly preserved specimens or second-hand sources such as other paintings or written accounts.

    6) Mauritius, where the dodo lived, is believed to have had a more stable environment, meaning there was no need to defend large territories to be assured of resources, unlike Rodrigues where the solitaire lived.

    7) Its extinction was due, in part if not all, because of the booming tortoise trade on the island. In their attempts to hunt tortoises, humans burned native habitat and released animals which would be detrimental to the solitaire.

    8) Mare aux Songes swamp is the source of a great majority of dodo skeletal parts, many of which have been a huge contribution to modern studies of the dodo.

    9) One scientist believed that the tree, which was thought to be dying out at the time, could only germinate after being passed through the digestive system of the dodo. There is very little evidence to back up this claim, as the seeds have been found to germinate without being digested.

    10) There is some conjecture that broad-billed parrots ate the seeds of palm fruits, and depended on larger animals such as the dodo or the tortoise to eat palm fruits and passed the seeds. If true, it would have been highly dependent on the existence of these animals, and there can be little surprise that it is extinct alongside them.

    11) In at least a few accounts, red rails were confused for dodos. If this was a more widespread occurrence, it’s possible that accounts of dodos in the late 1600s may have actually been dodos, and so they may well have gone extinct before that time.

    12) The extinction of the dodo may well have been sped along by its desirability as a food item, being both large and relatively easy to catch. However, the other part of its extinction was due to the utter destruction of its native habitat and the introduction of invasive species with outcompeted it for food, or possibly consumed its eggs and offspring. These two factors led to the extinction of many other species on Mauritius, many of which were completely unique to the island.

  13. Leah Rottke says:

    ..1. The Dodo was extinct by the late 17th century, and the Solitaire by the late 18th century.
    2. The subfossil remains found in a cave on Réunion in 1974 were linked 20 years later to another extinct species of Ibis on the island.
    3. It too, was a large, flightless bird, evolving in an island ecosystem devoid of mammalian herbivores and predators. All three species are types of crowned pigeons.
    4. Based on weight estimates alone, the Solitaire was larger than the Dodo.
    5. Very few drawings or paintings of living birds, in their natural environment remain, and none of them were drawn by scientists. Many models for depictions were captive birds, or stuffed examples – dead birds.
    6. The Solitaire used its wings for combat; the Dodo did not. The seasonal variation in resource availability was less pronounced on Mauritius, and so, the Dodo may not have had a significant “lean season” when fighting for food would be necessary.
    7. The dates coincide. The Rodriques solitaire was hunted for meat when the tortoise traders were on the island. Additionally, habitat was deforested and mammals like pigs and cats were introduced.
    8. It is used as a guide to understanding where the Dodo’s range on Mauritius may have been. Most excavated remains of Dodos have been found there, although none of juvenile birds. Bones used to reassemble skeletons, from multiple birds, were found in this swamp. It is thought that the animals became mired and perished in the muck of the swamp during a significant drought about 4000 years ago.
    9. A hypothesis suggesting that digestion of the tree’s seeds by Dodos was needed to scarify seeds and increase their germination. Other hypotheses contesting this have also been proposed, and the numbers of surviving trees are also in dispute.
    10. The parrot may have depended on the Dodo and the tortoise to pre-digest seeds for its diet.
    11. Use of the name, “Dodo” seems to have been transferred to the Red Rail in written accounts dated later than the probable extinction of the Dodo. Descriptions of bird calls and meat match the Red Rail more closely than the Dodo.
    12. Many other species on Mauritius were wiped out by the same processes that exterminated the Dodo, over 100 different species. Many others are currently threatened.
    13. Biologically and ecologically, yes, the Dodo is extinct, along with the scores of other species lost to the rapid change wrought by the Dutch in the 17th century. These species did not have time to adapt to the sudden introduction of mammalian predators and herbivores, nor to the rapid changes to habitat brought by deforestation. If we look from a perspective that includes evolution, the Dodo lives on in its closest contemporary relative, the Nicobar pigeon. A cultural and historical perspective shows us that the Dodo has never left us – it’s still written about more than any other bird species. Our perception of the Dodo has evolved from the early drawings and descriptions of sailor/explorers, to Lewis Carroll’s depiction in Alice and Wonderland, to an interpretation today that views the species as a marvelous creature lost because of humanity’s destructive ignorance. If we wanted to take a look from a biotech point of view, maybe the Dodo is extinct, but it doesn’t have to be. DNA was not able to be extracted from the most recent group of fossils recovered from the Mare aux Songes because of their age. It seems probable that newer remains, with recoverable DNA, can be found in layers closer to the surface.
    14. Truthfully, I would not propose to bring back the Dodo, for the same reason Carl Zimmer thinks that bringing back Neanderthals would be unethical – where would they live? Their habitat is almost completely destroyed; only 2% of the native forests of Mauritius remain. I also agree that we have so many threatened species today, and what would we do with more? Preservation and restoration of habitat is critical to the survival of all plant and animal species, including us. Our best efforts are needed now, just to keep the next wave of extinctions at bay. Part of the biotechnology developed to bring back the extinct could be used to preserve the DNA of species we are losing right now. I work with plants; seeds are a perfect preservation technology. That big bank of seeds deep underground in Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, is our hedge fund of plant DNA. Perhaps we could manage something similar to store animal DNA for the long haul, just in case we, as a species, get our “act together” in the future.

  14. H. Vogel says:

    1. The Dodo is thought to have gone extinct before the Rodriques solitaire (line on ML phylogenetic tree ends farther to the left).
    2. The potential third species of Raphine is now considered to be the Reunion ibis because no physical evidence was ever found that there were birds like Dodos on Reunion and fossil remains were found that are clearly in the genus Threskiornis which are associated with an extinct white bird on Reunion.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon of Fiji is relevant to Dodo studies because both birds were large, flightless pigeons thought to be related to crown pigeons, and both evolved in island ecosystems.
    4. Between the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire, the Dodo was probably shorter but may have been more massive, based on having a more robust skeleton and larger skull and beak.
    5. It is difficult to describe the appearance of either bird because there is very little in the way of reliable physical description from the brief period of human observation and there are no remains of any soft tissue.
    6. The Dodo did not have large bony knobs on their wings as the solitaire did. The solitaire was thought to use them in territorial aggression, supported by skeletal findings of wing bone fractures.
    7. Significant hunting for tortoises brought more people to the island of Rodrigues where the solitaire also lived and was easy to kill.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp has been the source of many fossil bones of the Dodo, allowing for more investigation of its structure and providing evidence that that area of Mauritius was favored habitat for Dodos.
    9. The “dodo tree” was suggested to be dependent on Dodos for germination of seeds, and thus destined to follow the bird into extinction. Later research suggests that this dependence is not true and that there are more surviving and replicating trees than had been thought.
    10. Both birds had a reduced sternal keel, related to reduced flying strength, but the parrot is now thought to have had some flight capacity, so while both likely foraged on the ground, the parrot would also have been able to fly up in trees for other diet items. The Cylindraspis, which also lived in the Mascarene Islands, would have foraged in the same areas as the Dodo so could have had some competitive relationship for food items.
    11. Descriptions of birds referred to as Dodos in the late 17th century could very well have been references to the red rail instead, giving the appearance that the Dodo survived human invasion longer than it is now thought to have done.
    12. The Dodo became the poster child of newly extinct species in the 18th and 19th centuries, however, all of Mauritius was overrun by predators and competitors when humans landed and began to use the island. There were many other species that had been surviving in the previous ecosystem that were unequipped for the invasion and went rapidly extinct because of it.
    In fact, the human invasion of Mauritius was a sort of model for the anthropogenic “invasion” of climate change that we are propagating now with almost the same disregard for effect on existing natural systems.
    Note on reading answers to #13: The Dodo may be physically extinct, but it is showing very decently on the name-recognition survival scale.

  15. Scott Mitchell says:

    The dodo bird went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire went extinct.
    A potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because the original source from which descriptions of the ‘third species’ may be unreliable. The source may be unreliable and scientists now think that they third species was really just an albino or a misrepresented artistic representation.
    The Viti levu pigeon could be valuable in studying dodos since it was a bird of similar size and probably filled similar functional groups in the area New Zealand where they historically resided in. the Viti levu pigeon could have also been fairly closely related to the dodo and amy provide valuable insight into dodo biology.
    The Rodriques solitaire was larger than the dodo. Females of this species could have been smaller than the males of the dodo species, however on average dodos were smaller than the Rodriques solitaire.
    It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or of R. solitaire because both species went extinct prior to good biological records. Also there is not a well preserved species that could indicate external appearance. There is also no clear record of if the descriptions that were taken focus on a particular demographic of the dodo population.
    It appears that the R. solitaire was more territorial than the dodo because the R. solitaire seems to have had larger wings that were used in combat whereas the dodo does not. Also R. solitaire has more powerful pectoral muscles which would have been used to power wings for combat. Last there is climatic evidence that suggests that resources on Mauritius would have been more plentiful than on Rodriques, and so combat over resources would be less necessary.
    The tortoise trade brought traders to the island that were not there before. These traders brought with them cats, dogs, and other animals that likely competed with or outright killed the dodo. Also tortoise traders burnt large areas of forest and thus destroyed the habitat the dodos lived in.
    The importance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of dodos is that a huge number of fossils have been found in the swamp–over 300 fossils have been found. This may represent a habitat that dodos once lived in and may provide insight to habitat parameters that were favorable for dodos.
    The controversy over the dodo tree is the significance of dodos in the tree’s continued survival. Some scientists have proposed that the dodo was the main way that the seeds of the dodo tree could spread while others think that other organisms that are now extinct may have played a role in the seeds dispersal.
    The broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises may have also consumed the seeds of the dodo tree and aided their dispersal. There has also been research that indicates that the broad billed parrot as dependent on dodo’s and Cylindraspis tortoises to consume palm fruits and defecate the seeds making them consumable by broad-billed parrots.
    The red rail potentially confuses the extinction date for dodos as red rails were often called dodos. Red rails were not extinct at the time that dodos went extinct, so historical records that indicate dodo sightings may actually refer to the red tail.
    The extinction of the dodo is only the tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius because there are many species that have gone extinct on the island and many for that currently have declining populations. Also so many of the species on Mauritius are interconnected, that previous extinctions may still be affecting the organisms there now. There is also a good chance that there were many species that went extinct without ever being described in the first place.

  16. Alecia Stewart-Malone says:

    1) The dodo was the first to go.

    2) Plumage coloration (possible albinism) was the reason for the third species to be considered more similar to the Reunion ibis.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is a flightless pigeon thought to have the same relatives and are only slightly smaller in size than the dodo.

    4) The dodo is described as being shorter yet more robust than the Rodriques solitaire.

    5) The first complete dodo specimen was only discovered earlier this month, so before now it was difficult to describe the body ratios and other specific characteristics of either bird species. No photos are available either.

    6) The dodo didn’t need to compete for resources in their native habitat as the Rodriques solitaire did.

    7) In attempts to strengthen the tortoise trade, vegetation was burnt, the solitaires were hunted and cats and pigs were imported that ate eggs and chicks.

    8) It is in this swamp where most dodo subfossil material has been found. The absence of juvenile remains in the swamp has also taught us a little about their early life history.

    9) It was thought that only the dodo digestive tract could all the seeds to germinate after passing. After a turkey force-feeding experiment lacking controls, it was still unclear whether this remained to be true. Since the dodo became extinct however, the dodo tree has germinated, disproving the theory.

    10) Dodos and the tortoises are thought to play similar foraging roles on Mauritius and the parrot relied on these foraging habits to obtain its food source – cleaned seeds.

    11) The red tail could have been confused for the dodo in late 17th century.

    12) Being an island, the endemic species of Mauritius have been isolated and will continue to be so. They cannot physically move out of their habitat to adapt to changes and are less able to adapt overall. Their populations are declining and are predicted to continue on the downhill.

    13) Yes, the dodo is really extinct. Few specimens and no DNA exists. However, it does still have close relatives still in existence so in that sense, some characteristics and specific genetic material (genes/traits) still live on.

    14) Can I answer by saying that I wouldn’t? Efforts should focus on current struggling species instead of being wasted on those that are already gone. That list will continue to grow if we don’t reallocate our efforts. But for the dodo certificate sake, if I were to resurrect the dodo, I would attempt to sequence the genome of the dodo based on remains and comparisons with living relatives. Not sure if an entire genome can be inserted into a cell, but if so then that’s what I would do and then implant that cell into a closely related female pigeon. Then I would cross my fingers really tight and hope that it worked.

  17. Andrea Watts says:

    1) The dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitare.

    2) Inaccurate accounts or observations of the bird lead to the misconception that the animal was a different species of Raphine from a nearby area. Raphus solitaries was thought to be a white species of dodo but after further research it is now known that it is not a dodo at all, but instead is an ibis.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology because it is not only in the same family as the dodo but it has similar anatomy as well.

    4) The dodo was most likely more robust that the Rodriques, but the Rodriques was taller, had a larger wingspan and likely weighed more that the dodo.

    5) It is difficult to describe the appearance of these animals because they existed in a time with limited biological records. Information found on the appearance of the animals is usually in the form of an artists drawing, which isn’t conclusive on the genuine form of the dodo or Rodriques.

    6) The Rodriques is thought to be more territorial because of its overall physical structure. It had more powerful wings than the dodo, thought to be used in fighting. Also, some evidence suggest that the resources were more plentiful of the dodos island than on Rodriques’ island which meant Rodriques would have to be able to find and defend its resources more than the dodo.

    7) The tortoise trade was a cause of more and more people going to the island that would have no reason to go there otherwise. In addition to the traders hunting the bird, they would burn the landscape and they brought their pets to the island as well. Dogs, cats and in some cases rats from the ship all were factors in the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is the site in which many dodo fossils have been found and has helped scientists learn more about this extinct creature. This swamp may have been an ideal habitat for the dodos which would give clues into the daily workings and habitat preferences of the dodo.

    9) The seeds of the “dodo tree” had previously been thought to only be able to germinate when aided by dodos and as a result of the dodos extinction the tree saw massive declines. The seed of the “dodo tree” was believed to only break dormancy in the stomach of the dodo or animals with very similar systems.

    10) A main part of the broad-billed parrots diet consisted of seeds that were previously eaten by the dodo bird or Cylindraspis tortoises. The animals would eat palm fruit and pass the seeds that the parrot would then eat.

    11) Drawings and artwork that were completed after the extinction of the dodo show red rails that can be confused for dodos due to very similar body structures. This can influence the timeline of the dodo.

    12) The Animals on Mauritius are being forced to adapt to an ever increasing number of new species in addition to adapt to the changes in their environment caused by the loss of native species. Many animals are losing their habitat and community structure which is why many different species on the island are seeing population declines.

  18. Kimberly Rigano says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo went extinct first in the late 1600s only a century after its discovery by Dutch sailors. The Rodriques solitaire is believed to have gone extinct in 1778 according to the IUCN.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    The Raphus solitarius is considered to be identical to the Reunion ibis because no fossils of birds closely related to the Dodo were ever found on the island of Reunion while ibis remains were discovered in the 20th century. The description of the Raphus solitaries and its behaviors are now thought to match that of an ibis. The original confusion surrounding the taxonomy of the bird was based on paintings of a white dodo. These paintings are thought to have originated from a specimen in Prague which possessed whitish plumage. This is believed to be due to albinism or bleaching, or it may have been a juvenile trait.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The Viti Levu giant pigeon was recently described from subfossil remains found on the island of Fiji. Information gained from these remains could aid in the understanding of Dodo biology since these birds are believed to be closely related. They are both crown pigeons and share similar physiology and size as well.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The Dodo was shorter with a larger head skull and beak than the solitaire. The weight of the Dodo was believed to be between 10 and 21 kg while the solitaire was heavier at up to 28 kg for males. However, these estimates may be skewed due to the fact that weights varied significantly over different seasons and captive specimens were typically fatter than wild birds. Also, sexual dimorphism was substantial especially for the solitaire making average size difficult to determine.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    It is difficult to describe the physical appearance of these birds because so few specimens have been recovered. Most of these specimens are bone and fossils and little soft tissue has been preserved with the exception of a head and food at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Thus, characteristics such as plumage can only be inferred from historical descriptions and illustrations based on second hand knowledge of the bird’s appearance.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    Rodriques received less rainfall than Mauritius and had more variable seasons creating a greater need for competition for resources for the Rodriques solitaire. The physical attributes of this species also indicate that this bird was more territorial than the Dodo. The Dodo’s weak pectoral muscles and reduced wings were not adapted to fighting. The solitaire also had knobs on its wrists which it used to strike other birds during territorial disputes.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoise trade coincided with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire between 1730 and 1750. The trade drew humans to the island where they cleared vegetation and destroyed habitat. They also hunted the solitaire and introduced predators such as cats and pigs which fed on the bird’s eggs and small chicks.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    The Mare aux Songes swamp is where the majority of Dodo skeletons have been found. The swamp has yielded the remains of over 300 individuals, and these tissues have been used to reconstruct skeletons. This has allowed researchers to better understand Dodo biology, life history, and movement. The high concentration of bones found here also provides information about the bird’s habitat preferences. The fact that no juvenile remains were discovered here may indicate that nesting areas were located far from feeding areas and that Dodos traveled in order to brood their young.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    The controversy regarding the “dodo tree” surrounds the theory proposed by Temple which suggests that Tambalacoque seeds must pass through the Dodo’s digestive system in order to germinate. He attributes the extinction of the Dodo to the decline of the tree. However, this was based on an uncontrolled experiment with Turkeys. More recent evidence suggests that the seeds are able to germinate without removal of the endocarp during digestion. There are other foragers who could have aided in seed dispersal such as tortoises and fruit bats. Also, the tree has been shown to germinate since the extinction of the Dodo, and although it is a rare species, there are more young trees than previously thought. They do not have a distinctive appearance and may be confused with other species.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The three species are believed to be interconnected with the parrot benefiting from the foraging activities of the Dodo and tortoise. These animals ate palm fruits and excreted the seeds thereby providing food for the parrots. They also all aided in the dispersal of Tambalacoque seeds and thus contributed to its germination and an increase in food resources for each other.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The last credible description of a Dodo was given by a Dutch man in 1662 who was shipwrecked on Amber Island. The credibility of this account has been questioned since the distress cries of the bird that were described resemble that of the red rail. Sightings after this date may be of the red rail instead of the Dodo creating some confusion surrounding the actual date of the Dodo’s extinction. The names Dodo and Dodaers were used to refer to the red rail after the last sightings of the actual Dodo and the terms Dodo and red hen were used interchangeably at times in the historical record. The actual extinction date will therefore likely remain unknown, but it is clear that the Dodo was gone by 1700.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    The extinction of the Dodo may be only the “tip of the iceberg” pointing toward a future of extinctions for the other species on Mauritius. This is due to the fact that the species here evolved without the selective pressure of humans and introduced species such as mammalian predators. Island species are often naïve to the threats posed by man, and their geographical isolation and small range make them even more susceptible to decimation by humans whether through hunting, predation and competition from invasive species, or habitat destruction.

    Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?

    In terms of our current biological knowledge and abilities, the Dodo is really extinct. The last individual of this species died over three hundred years ago and today, its closest living relative is the Nicobar pigeon of which only about 1,000 individuals remain. Although the Nicobar pigeon may possess DNA similar to that of the Dodo, they have very different behavioral ecology and life histories with major differences in size and the ability of flight making deextinction of the Dodo unlikely. Additionally, soft tissue remains from the Dodo are extremely rare making DNA extraction and recovery impossible with current specimens. The Dodo remains a symbol of human carelessness and may live on only through the lessons people are able to learn from it.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?

    The Dodo would only be able to be resurrected if sufficient DNA was recovered from fossilized or soft tissue remains. If enough DNA with genetic variation could be retrieved, genetic techniques would be used to compare the sequences of Dodo DNA with that of the Nicobar pigeon, its closest living relative. This would allow scientists to determine which sequences of DNA were unique to Dodos and fill in holes in with Nicobar DNA in order to reconstruct the Dodo’s genome. Once this was complete, the Dodo’s DNA would be inserted into stem cells which would be differentiated into germ cells and then inserted into a Nicobar pigeon embryo. Once the embryo was hatched and grown, it would be a Nicobar pigeon with the ability to reproduce and create a Dodo. This could only be done if the smaller Nicobar pigeon was physically able to lay the egg of a Dodo chick. Otherwise a larger bird would be required. However, this is only half of the battle that would be required to bring Dodos back. The threats that caused their extinction have not been eliminated including introduced predators and competitors and substantial habitat loss. Logging and farming as well as illegal trade has resulted in the Nicobar pigeon being listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN, so survival of the Dodo does not seem likely. Without eliminating these threats, it is impractical to resurrect a species such as the Dodo, which was adapted to such a pristine habitat that no longer exists.

  19. kasey way says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo was extinct first and went extinct in 1693, while the solitary was thought to go extinct around 1778.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now
    considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The species is supposed to be sexualy dimorphic and the photos of this white dodo is actually just a female. Another thought is the light color could be a juivinal trait.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The giant pigeon is also thought to be related to the crowned pigeon.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The dodo is said to have shorter legs and neck. However it does have a larger beak and skull.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    Because there is no complet speciman of the dodo and only illistrations and written acounts.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    Because the dodos environment received more rain and had a more stable climate. Solitaires were seen fighting with wings and knobs on their legs. There were also fractures in wings that showed they were used for fighting.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoise traders burnt vegitation, hunted and had animals that killed solitaire.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    Because most of te fossiles have been found here and could be a reason for their extinction. There has also only been a few juvinial bones found, meaning they may produce very little, reproduce somewhere else, or mature quickly.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    The dodo bird and their tree were said to coexist. When the dodo birds went extinct the tree failed and went extinct also because they need the dodo for proporgation and germination.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The broad-billed parrot needed both birds to eat palm fruits so it could eat the seeds after they have been digested.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    One of the big reasons was many mistook the red rail for the dodo. After the extinction of the dodo bird many people started calling the red tail dodo birds and this is confusing for when the dodo bird really went extinct.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    The reason for this is because other species on the island are reducing in population size. The causes started when humans first arrived and destroyed habitat and brought invasive species.

  20. Chloe Burt says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The potential third species was a albino with juvenile plumage that was a lighter colour due to bleaching. The misconception could be due to the result of taxidermy or artistic license.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Historical lineage says that these species are taxonomically related. They also are similar anatomically.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The solitaire was taller and heavier than the dodo.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe them because they became extinct so quickly after human presence. The only things we have that describe them are sketches, paintings, bones, and taxidermy exhibits.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo had fewer resource restrictions therefore they did not have to be as territorial as the Rodriques solitaire.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade. The trade reduced the solitaires habitat. The traders burned the vegetation and introduced new predators.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first Dodo skeleton was found there as well as many others. This suggests that this location is suitable habitat for the Dodo.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    There is controversy if the Dodo effects the reproduction of the Tambalacoque tree. The Tambalacoque tree is dying and the oldest one is when the Dodo bird went extinct. Some believe the Dodo had the stomach acid to break the seed dormancy of the Tambalacoque tree.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which is food for the parrot.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail is anatomically similar to the Dodo which caused confusion when the drawing of the red rail were discovered.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Other species population size are reducing on the island. For thousands of years the animals and plants rarely had to adapt, which could be why their population sizes are reducing.

  21. Deanna Orr says:

    1)Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2)Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    They thought there was a potential third species due to coloration.
    3)Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The birds are in the same family and had similar anatomy.
    4)Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The dodo was shorter and more robust while the solitaire was larger in size but hard to determine this by weight as there is no recorded data.
    5)Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    No specimens of either species exist, just illustrations and those may be wrong. People may not have drawn the bird as they were looking at it; the illustrations over the years all differ in some way.
    6)Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    There is some evidence to suggest that the dodo’s fought less among themselves compared to the solitaires. The dodo habitat was full of resources for the species while the solitaires had to compete more for theirs.
    7)What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    If it weren’t for this trade, humans may not have influenced the solitaire so highly. The humans introduced species that killed off the solitaire along with them destroying the habitat.
    8)What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp contained the majority of the dodo fossils/skeletons that have been found.
    9)Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was that the dodo’s dispersed the “dodo trees” seeds but that was found to not be entirely true; there are other species that are now thought to have dispersed the seeds. Since both survived during the same time and the same place, it was thought that the two were connected in some way.
    10)How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The parrot is thought to have relied on the dodo and tortoise for its digesting/food needs.
    11)How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    It is unclear in some documentation when either bird went extinct. Dates have been used interchangeable for the birds.
    12)Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Mauritius is an island that has been isolated for several years. The species now have to adapt to everything new happening to the island and that is taking its toll on those that are native and living there.

  22. Taylor Harrigan says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2. Fossils of the extinction ibis were discovered and connected to the early reports of what was thought to be a third Dodo species
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to be distantly related to the Dodo through the crowned pigeons. The giant pigeon is also a large flightless bird that evolved on an island which helps give clues about the dodos evolution
    4. The Rodrigues solitare was most likely taller and generally heavier.
    5. No complete specimens remain of the birds and there was limited data collected on the species before extinction
    6. The Rodrigues solitaire was likely territorial because they have carpal spurs and knobs and fractured wings have been found suggesting territorial disputes as well as observations of Rodrigues solitary behavior. Dodos do not have these morphological traits that suggest aggressive behavior.
    7. The extinction coincided with the tortoise trade when habitat was destroyed, birds hunted and cats and pig introduced that prey on chicks and eggs.
    8. The swamp contains subfossils of many extinct species including the first discovery of Dodo remains
    9. The Tambalacoque was believed to require the Dodo for its seeds to germinate so the tree went extinct when the Dodo did, but two ecologist claim the tree has germinated since the extinction of the Dodo.
    10. The Dodos and tortoises may have foraged on palm fruits and excrete their seeds which became food for the Broad-billed parrot
    11. Later descriptions of Red rails were confused with the Dodo after the Dodo had disappeared
    12. Mauritius is home to many rare and isolated species that have evolved with the island and may not have the ability to adapt to the changing environmental pressures.

  23. Amanda Sundahl says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The dodo was the first to go extinct.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    The bird that was discovered and thought to be a third species was an albino. It was light in color due to the fact that it was a young juvenile. Bleaching also occurred most likely during the time the bird was taxidermied.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The giant pigeon has been shown to be a close relative to the dodo, and was very similar in size, physiology and overall taxonomic characteristics.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The Rodreques solitare showed to be larger due to average mass and height (being taller) compared to the Dodo.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    Both of these species have been extinct for quite some time, so it has become difficult to really know what they are like physically. No living specimens have been discovered for a few centuries, so we have to rely on preserved fossils, artistic depictions and what we would imagine the species to look like. Unfortunately, this method is very error prone.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    The chosen environment of the Rodriques solitaire was critically lacking the resources necessary to feed this species, because of this the bird became highly territorial in order to protect its limited supply of nutrients. Looking at the Dodo environment, it had plenty of food resources available which may have been why it did not have such a competitive nature or territorial tendencies.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoise trade became extremely popular, this in return cause an influx of people onto the island that both the tortoises and Rodriques solitare claimed as their habitat. Although the actual trade of tortoises did not directly affect the Rodriques solitare, the traders began targeting and hunting this bird. They started to burn the landscape and brought their pets onto the island as well. The domestic dogs and cats would prey on small chicks and eggs and became some of the main factors for the bird’s extinction.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    The Mare aux Songes swamp is the area where many dodo fossils have been discovered. These fossils have been one of the leading materials to help scientists learn more about the extinct species. The swampy area was more than likely an ideal niche or area for the dodos to reside in which in return provided clues for possible habitat preference and selection of the dodo. It may have also been just an area that was popular to look for food.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    It is a common belief that the Tambalacoque was dependent upon the Dodo bird in order to reproduce. The dodo would ingest the seeds of the Tambalacoque and spread them around in its droppings. When the dodo went extinct, it lost its symbiotic partner and was no longer able to spread its seeds so therefore it went extinct not long after the dodo. Although there are some ecologists that believe the tree has reproduced since the time of the extinction of the dodo, which shows the possibility for another possible animal that ingests the Tambalacoque seeds.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    It is believed that the broad billed parrot is dependent upon the dodos and tortoises to ingest palm fruits and then expel their seeds. These seeds became a diet that the parrots rely on.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The red rail and the dodo have similar physiologies which can lead to confusion when identifying the two species. The known descriptions of the Dodos in the late 1700’s were more closely related to the red rail, this gives the impression that the Dodo may have survived human influence much longer than what was previously thought.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    Humans were responsible for the decline of many native species in Mauritius. Their influence led to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of invasive species. These native species progressed without any known presence of major predators, but the introduction of the invasive species led to the extinction of the natives.

  24. Lindsey Johnson says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo was the first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The Reunion ibis is considered to be this due to similar white coloration.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    It appears to have the same characteristics and is considered to be related to the Dodo.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodrigues solitaire would have been larger.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    This is because there is not a lot of specific documentation of their appearances other than paintings.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The solitaire lived in an area that does not have as many food resources that can thrive. Therefore, they are used to having to be aggressive for resources and to protect their resources.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    This trade allowed the Rodrigues solitaire to be discovered. However, with this discovery the area was destroyed and the solitaire was hunted and killed.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Many Dodo fossils have been found within this swamp.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    “The dodo tree” was thought to be decreasing in population after the Dodo went extinct. This was because the Dodo was supposedly helping to spread the tree’s seeds. However, turns out this was not the case and that other species were most likely dispersing the seeds.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The Dodo and the tortoises would eat palm fruit and excrete the seeds that the Broad-billed parrot would feed on.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail and Dodo are suggested at around the same time with around the same descriptions so the two can be easily interchanged.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Mauritius provides a very diverse and unique environment. Therefore, this environment was not able to properly balance with new animals and new plants being introduced by people.

  25. Ayodele M. Falade says:

    1. Dodo go to extinction first.
    2. The potential third species of raphire (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because of their physical characteristics like light color.
    3. Vitilevu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they are similar to dodo in term of size and physiology.
    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger, the dodo or rodrigues solitaire?
    Rodrigues solitaire was taller and heavier than dodo
    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the rodrigues solitaire?
    It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of these birds because they have been extinct hundreds of years ago. Drawing and fossils has been used to determine how they look like.
    6. Why does it appear that the rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The seasonal variation and how rainfall resulted to food scarcity and this made rodrigues solitaire more territorial because of competition for food and resources, and the habitat of dodo had a lot of food there for less territorial.
    7. What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the rodrigues solitaire? Tortoise trade contributed to the extinction of rodigues solitaire. The trader destroyed the rodrigues solitaire habitat by burning the vegetation and introduced predators that destroyed them.
    8. What is the significance of the mareaux songes swamp to studies of the dodo?
    The significance is that the first dodo skeleton was found there and many more were found there, indicating that it was a good habitat for dodo.
    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” the Tambalacoque (sideroxylon grand, florum)?
    The controversy is that tambalacoque, also known as the dodo tree has reduced greatly because of the extinction of dodo birds because these birds are the major dispersal agents of the seeds of tambalacoque trees. The link was that the extinction of dodo birds has caused significant decrease in dodo tree.
    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct broad- billed parrot and the cylindraspis tortoises? Dodo and cylindraspis tortoises eat fruits and dispersed their seeds and broad- billed parrot relied on palm fruit seeds excreted by the dodo for their livelihood. The extinction of dodo directly or indirectly are linked to the extinction of broad- billed parrot for simple reason that they feed on the seeds excreted by dodo.
    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates of the dodo?
    The history have it that the dodo was used inter changeably for red rail with similar or the same description and this actually caused confusion on dodo extinction date and time.
    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinction on Mauritius?
    Because other species of plants and animals living in this geographical location (The Island of Mauritius) are reducing because in many years back these species could not adapt to change and also extinction of a species could cause the extinction of the other since they depend on one another.
    13. Is dodo really extinct?
    Yes, the dodo is an extinct bird species. The bird became extinct in 1681 and its extinction have a lot of effect on the ecosystem. Certain species of trees were becoming rare on Mauritius because dodo that eat their fruit and dispersed their seeds are extinct. Some animal species that feed on dodo excreted seeds have been extinct too. The interrelation of dodo to other plants and animals made the dodo extinction affect the ecosystem. The closest relative of the dodo called “little dodo” or manumea is still alive but with the potential of been extinct in future.
    14. How might you propose to resurrect the dodo?
    My proposal to resurrect the extinct dodo would not be different from the scientific proposal of using DNA from the extinct animal, like dodo as a model on a living relative to be genetically engineered to give birth to offspring that are essentially the model animal (dodo).

  26. Haley Anderson says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first

    2) A potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because scientific speculation has lead to the belief that the third species was actually an albino or juvenile reunion ibis, simply bleached during the taxidermy process or misrepresented in artistic license.

    3) The birds are in the same taxonomic family and therefore can be used to better understand more about dodo biology and evolution.

    4) The dodo is thought to have been shorter and more robust than the Rodrigues solitarie, but the birds are both sexually dimorphic and had peramorphic body parts, making the size differentiation very difficult to determine.

    5) Both species have been extinct for hundreds of years, so the information we currently rely on is based on sketches and accounts that could very well be inaccurate.

    6) The native habitat that the dodo evolved in provided abundant resources with very little competition. The solitaires habitat, however, was highly competitive between a number of different species. This difference in resource availability and competition caused the birds to evolve with different levels of territoriality.

    7) The extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750, when humans began burning vegetation, releasing non-native species and hunted solitaires.

    8) This swamp is where many of the dodo skeletons have been excavated, so it is assumed that this was a suitable environment for the dodo and it may have even been where they originated.

    9) The controversy is whether the dodo actually aided in the germination of the seed, and if the extinction of the dodo is causing the decline of the tree. Some believe that other extinct species besides the dodo also aided in the dispersal of this species.

    10) It is speculated that the brood-billed parrot depended on the dodo and the tortoise for the excreted palm seeds, for which it subsisted on.

    11) the names of the two species were erroneously used interchangeably and the sketches of the red tail were mistaken for the dodo.

    12) The dodos extinction happened remarkably quickly following human settlement on Mauritius. Other species are going extinct by the same processes (ie. introducing invasive species, hunting, disrupting natural processes, etc.) but that is happening at perhaps a slower rate or in a less obvious manner.

  27. Erika Vossbeck says:

    1. The Dodo bird was the first to go extinct
    2. The Raphus solitaries was originally considered to be a third species of raphine because of its physical characteristics, like coloration. However, it was later discovered that this bird was albino, or possibly an artist’s misrepresentation of the bird, and it in fact had traits more similar to the Reunion ibis.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodos because of their similar biological makeup, which gives researchers the ability to study the dodo’s physiology.
    4. Based on the evidence that’s been collected, it is thought that the Rodriquez solitaire was larger and weighed more than the dodo. However, there is little evidence due to the fact that both of these birds are now extinct.
    5. It’s difficult to describe characteristics regarding the physical appearance of the dodo and Rodriquez solitaire because the only information we have regarding their appearance is in artwork or early explorers’ journal entries.
    6. While the physical appearance of the dodo and Rodriguez solitaire may have been similar, their behaviors were noted as being different due to small physical differences. The bone structure of both birds were slightly different, in that the dodo was more slumped over relative to the strong breast bone of the Rodrigues solitaire, which could have meant the dodo behaved in a more timid manor. Similarly, the more pronounced stance and taller posture of the Rodrigues solitaire adds to the idea that the Rodriguez solitaire was more territorial than the dodo.
    7. The tortoise trade was detrimental to the Rodriguez solitaire and ultimately lead to its extinction in an indirect way though introduction of predators to the bird’s habitat, like pigs and cats. Humans also destroyed these birds’ habitat in the search of tortoises by burning brush.
    8. Mare aux Songes swamp is important to the studies of the Dodo because a great deal of fossil evidence has been found in this swamp. It’s been a great tool in identifying the type of habitat the Dodo once occupied.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the dodo tree is attributed to the thought that only the dodo bird’s digestive tract could germinate Tambalacoque seeds for a dodo tree. As a result of the dodo’s extinction, dodo trees similarly declined. However, recent evidence has shown that these seeds are able to germinate without passing through a bird’s digestive system, and while the number of dodo trees is small, there are more than previously thought.
    10. The diet of the dodo and mechanisms by which it obtained food may have contributed to the extinction of the Broad-billed parrot because the parrot required the dodo as well as the Cylindraspis tortoise to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which provided food for the parrot.
    11. The red tail could have been confused with the dodo due to their similar appearance, which could potentially confuse the actual date of the dodo’s extinction. In addition, the names dodo and Dodaers were used to refer to the red tail further confusing the dodo’s date of extinction.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was considered the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in terms of extinctions on Mauritius because that was just one of many extinctions brought about by human introduction on Mauritius. Species that are confined on an island are more susceptible to extinction after humans are introduced due to the limited home range—small habitats and the inability to migrate, coupled with small genetic pools, making the spread of disease very threatening.

  28. Lauren Beckley says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo bird was the first to go extinct.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The Reunion ibis is a potential third species to raphine because of its difficulty in flying due to its bone structure. They are also considered to be a potential species due to their coloration and robust figure.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of the dodo evolution because it had a similar body shape just smaller than the dodo bird and are said to have similar ancestors.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques Solitaire is bigger weighing in at 62 pounds and measuring 35 inches in length. The Dodo bird weighs in at 51 pounds and measuring 9.1 inches in length.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to accurately describe the natural appearance of dodos and rodriques solitaire because all encounters of these birds were in times of documentation only primarily done by second hand observations and a lot of these records have been plagiarized or over exaggerated.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    Rodriques received less seasonal variation and less rainfall therefore there were less resources which caused the birds to evolve highly territorial behavior to defend their resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade occurred in 1730-1750 where traders brought in cats to help capture the tortoises which resulted in the cats eating the Rodriques solitaire’s chicks and eggs.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    It was here in this swamp that the remains and fossils of the dodos were found.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The dodo bird was a huge dispersal agent for the Tambalacoque tree because they ate tambalacoque fruits. Once the dodo birds went extinct the fruit seeds that were dispersed through their feces restricted the tree growth.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    They could be related due to their similar diet of the fruits of Tambalacoque tree.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red tail confused the extinction dates for the dodo bird due to the “sightings” of the dodo in the late 17th century most likely being a red tail bird and not a dodo bird.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo bird is only the “tip of the iceberg” because on this island there are many species that are decreasing in population size due to increasing anthropogenic influences and other environmental changes that these animals can’t adapt too.

  29. Ryan Childress says:

    1.) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2.) The bird was actually an albino, a juvenile, the coloring was from taxidermy, or it was the artist’s fault.

    3.) It is another flightless bird that is only slightly smaller than the Dodo. It is possible both of these species took part in divergent evolution from the same species.

    4.) The Dodo was shorter but had more girth.

    5.) Because they have been extinct for hundreds of years and back then they didn’t have the procedures of recording that technology has brought us today. A bird that goes extinct now will be easier for future generations to describe than the birds of old.

    6.) The Rodriques solitaire had larger wings that they used to fight each other with, the dodo didn’t have those tools. These tools were adapted because there was less food for them as a resource, whereas the dodo had more food.

    7.) They introduced species that competed against the Rodriques solitare.

    8.) Dodo bird skeleton remains were found here, which meant that this was a suitable habitat for the bird.

    9.) The dodo and the Tabalacoque have been theorized to of evolved to be mutualisticly reliant on each other. The dodo ate the fruit, and the Tabalacoque used the dodo exclusively to disperse its seeds.

    10.) The parrot relied on feasting on the feces of the dodo and the tortoises, which was mostly seeds and palm fruit.

    11.) The Dodo name was used for the red rail because of their similarities.

    12.) The introduction of invasive species will impact the flora and fauna of this island ecosystem even more so that a continental one.

  30. Patrick KOKESCH says:

    The Dodo Exam: – Answers
    1) Of the Raphinae (taxonomic group) the Dodo went extinct in 1693 before the Rodrigues Solitaire which went extinct by the late-1700.
    2) During the 17th and 18th centuries traveller’s accounts described a white almost flightless bird on Rodrigue Island. In the mid-1800’s these accounts led to the assumption that these were white relatives of the Dodo. Lack of credible records and no fossil evidence were ever found on Rodrigue Island which would indicate that the white bird was related to the Dodo. Twentieth century sub-fossil evidence identified the Reunion Ibis (Threskiornis solitares) as the bird which likely was mistaken as a Dodo relative.
    3) The Viti Levu Giant Pigeon is relevant to Dodo biology and evolution as it is thought to have been related to crowned pigeons and also as a good example of island biogeography and species extinctions.
    4) Based upon the limited evidence available the Rodrigues Solitaire would have been larger (longer legs and neck) with males weighing up to 28kg. (62 lbs.)
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the Dodo or Rodrigues Solitaire because few descriptions were actually made and those that were often described edibility rather than appearance. Drawings were frequently plagiarized by other “artists” and it was difficult to establish what was really accurate information.
    6) The Rodrigues Solitaire was observed displaying territorial behaviour. Solitaires were also equipped with tuberous knobs on their wrists which were used as weapons. The Dodo did not possess these structures but may have used its large hooked beak in the event of disputes. The stable climate of Mauritius Island with its adequate rainfall and availability of resources also likely reduced the need for Dodo’s to develop territorial aggression.
    7) The tortoise trade (~1730 – 1750) contributed to the extinction of the Rodrigues Solitaire (1730 – 1760) because traders burned off vegetation and introduced animals (cats, dogs, pigs and monkeys) which ate eggs and chicks. Humans regularly hunted them for food as well.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant in the study of Dodos because many sub-fossils have been excavated during the studies on Mauritius Island.
    9) The controversy surrounding the hypothesis presented by Dr. Stanley Temple where he alluded to the essential connection between Dodos and the Tambalacoque (Dodo Tree) was flawed because other experimental evidence existed which demonstrated that Tambalacoque seeds did not require abrading (by Dodo’s digestive tract) in order to germinate. In Temple’s research and experimentation with wild turkeys he did not attempt to germinate seeds from the control group without feeding them to turkeys and therefore left a gap in his conclusions.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the Dodo may be linked to the extinct Broad-Billed Parrot and Cylinraspis Tortoise since these two species were also well suited to eating nuts and fruit and distributing the seeds of plants. All three species were ultimately driven to extinction by the arrival of humans and their radical effect on the landscape and population numbers.
    11) The Red Rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the Dodo because late 17th century accounts of Dodos were likely mis-identified Red Rails which were extinct around 1700.
    12) The Dodo was the tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius Island since it was just one of many species which were forced into extinction after the arrival of man. According to an estimate by Dr. Stanley Temple (1981) prior to the arrival of humans in the Mascerene Islands (Mauritius, Reunion & Rodrigues) sixty-eight(68) species of birds existed and since 1600, forty-five(45) species ~66% have become extinct. (Source: It’s Too Late: Bird Extinctions)
    13) The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘extinct’ as: having no living members, no longer exists.
    So from this very simple perspective I believe that the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is extinct and it will never return spontaneously in its original form. For over three hundred years we have thought of the Dodo as extinct. At one point some doubted that it ever existed and was part of seafarer’s mythology. During its brief but fatal encounter with humans very little was actually documented about the bird aside from its culinary appeal or lack thereof. Few specimens from the Dodo were preserved and descriptions were often plagiarized from one source by another.
    When sub-fossils specimens were excavated from the Mare aux Songe swamp skeletal fragments allowed for reconstruction and digitized models to be made of what the Dodo looked like. In 2002, geneticists were able to extract very fragmented DNA from the Oxford University specimen. Experts believe that there is not sufficient genetic information available to allow a Dodo to be re-generated. With the advancements in the field of genetics and biotechnology it is difficult to predict what may be possible in the future and whether the roster of extinct animals may somehow find new life in the lab. cont’d…
    13) continued from previous page…
    Despite the apparent reality of the Dodo’s extinction there are some individuals who ‘insist’ that it still exists. If you are curious you may wish to check out a short video on YouTube: ‘The Dodo Bird is NOT Extinct’ (4:15) Link: http://youtu.be/cxNvz2dsyoM
    The fact that this specimen looks nothing like a Dodo doesn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of some ardent Dodo-believers.
    In my opinion it is really gone forever. Hopefully the lessons learned from these extinctions will not be lost on us and we will not repeat the same mistakes in the future.
    References:
    It’s Too Late: Bird Extinctions
    Retrieved from: http://www.endangeredspecieshandbook.org/dinos_bird.php
    The Oxford Dictionary http://www.oxforddictionaries.com

    14) In order to answer the question of how I might propose to resurrect the Dodo I decided to look at what has been done in the field of ‘de-extinction’ in the past few years.
    Australian researchers from the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Lazarus Project were able to use cell nuclei from 40 year old frozen tissues of the extinct Australian Gastric-Brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus silus) and place its dead nuclei into donor eggs from the distantly related Great Barred Frog (Mixophyes faciolatus). The eggs began to grow and divide but none of the embryos survived. Tests showed the cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. (Source: The Guardian 2013)
    In 2009, Spanish genetics researchers were able to clone a recently extinct Pyrenean Ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) using DNA inserted into the egg of a domestic goat. The Ibex clone died shortly after birth because of lung defects. (Source: treehugger.com 2009)
    Researchers in Poland have been examining two methods by which Aurochs, an animal similar to buffalo and yaks, could be restored. The last known Auroch died in 1627 near Jaktorow, Poland. continued next page…
    14) continued from previous page…
    The restoration methods proposed are as follows:
    i) Genetic modification using Auroch’s genes from fossil material.
    ii) Restoration and duplication of Auroch’s genome and cloning using a cow from the species Bovidae. (Source: Lipinski et al. 2011)
    In a March 15th 2013 Technology, Entertainment Design (TEDx) event in Washington, DC researchers discussed the possibility of ‘de-extinction’ of other species including Wolly Mammoth, Red Macaw, and Giant Moa. The UNSW Lazarus Project expressed their interest in cloning the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) which has been extinct since 1936. (Source: Science Daily 2009) and (Red Orbit 2013).
    In 1996, The Frozen Ark Project was created by the Zoological Society of London and the Natural History Museum and now comprises twenty-two zoos, aquariums, museums and research institutions from eight countries. The Frozen Ark collects DNA samples from endangered animals before they disappear. They have collected 48,000 samples from over 5,500 endangered and non-endangered animal species. (Source: frozenark.org)
    As technological advancements are made in the field of genetics mankind will have to face some complex questions of how to use this new-found ability. Great controversy surrounds this issue. Some of the main arguments for and against are outlined below:
    Arguments Against De-Extinction:
    i) De-Extinction draws attention away from real environmental issues.
    ii) Gives and false sense of confidence that science has solved our problems.
    iii Resurrected animals will require suitable habitat.
    iv) If animals went extinct from human-related causes, what’s changed now? We still push animals to the brink of extinction.
    v) What will be the unanticipated effects of re-introduction? Will the resurrected animal out-compete current species to extinction?
    vi) What if we re-introduce species which are vectors for diseases?
    vii) Can we undo or reverse an introduction if unforeseen problems arise? continued…
    14) Continued from previous page…
    Arguments For De-Extinction:
    i) It will give us an opportunity to undo our past mistakes (i.e. Passenger Pigeon, Tasmanian Tiger, Dodo, etc.)
    ii) Advancement of scientific knowledge which benefits man (i.e. technological advances, cure diseases etc.)
    iii) Counter the effects of environmental depredation
    (Source: CBC News 2014) (dinosaurs.about.com) and (livescience.com 2009)
    After much deliberation of the question how would I propose to resurrect the Dodo, I believe that based upon what I’ve read that I would not even attempt it. My decision has nothing to do with moral questions of “playing God”, but from the concern of how we would manage a re-introduction of an animal back into an ecosystem where it’s been absent for some time.
    I believe that our efforts need to focus upon what we still have and not chasing the ghosts of the past. Dr. David Ehrenfeld PhD. (Zoology), MD (Harvard) of Rutger’s University summed up my thoughts in his statement, “It’s always better to save something than it is to fix it after it’s gone.” (Source: livescience.com)

    References
    Could Extinct Animals Be Resurrected from Frozen Samples?
    Retrieved from: http://www.livescience.com/7810-extinct-animals-resurrected-frozen-samples.html
    De-Extinction – The Resurrection of Extinct Animals The Pros and Cons of Breeding Long-Extinct Mammals, Birds and Amphibians
    Retrieved from: http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/dinosaurcontroversies/a/De-Extinction.htm
    Extinct frog resurrected with ‘de-extinction’ technology
    Retrieved from: http://theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/22/extinct-frog
    Lazarus Project Attempts To Resurrect Extinct Frog
    Retrieved from: http://redorbit.com/news/science/1112804658/lazarus-project
    Lipinski, D., Przystalalowska, H., Szalata, M., Zeyland, J., Wielgus, K., Frackowiak, H.,…Slomski, R.(2011). Biotechnology in the restoration of extinct animal species. An analysis of genomic and mitochondrial DNA of aurochs. BioTechnologia Vol. 92(1), pp. 13-21
    Retrieved from: http://www.biotechnologia-journal.org
    Pyrenean Ibex Timeline: Extinction in 2000. Resurrected in 2009. Extinction Again in 2009.
    Retrieved from: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/pyrenean-ibex-timeline
    Species de-extinction plagued by ‘looming questions’, expert says
    Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/new/technology/species-de-extinction-plagued-by-looming-questions-expert-says-1.2637789
    Welcome to the Frozen Ark
    Retrieved from: http://www.frozenark.org

    • Rod Sayler says:

      Thank you, Patrick, for your extensive and extremely thoughtful analysis and response to the dodo exam questions. As we’ve discussed, rather than black and white, and cut and dried, there are many gray areas in the field of conservation science and biodiversity conservation. The thoughts and resources you’ve assembled here are a valuable addition to this exercise in online education. You are definitely a qualified dodo biologist!

  31. Melina Clark says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    It was considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because it had a white coloration. However this was because it was either a juvenile or the feathers were bleached during the taxidermy
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitare was taller and heavier than the dodo
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    They both doesn’t exist, so artwork and writings are the only source to rely on.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques was thought to be more territorial because of its bone structure. The wings on the Rodriques were larger and more powerful. In addition, this species also had knobs on its wrists that were used to fight other birds.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade brought the traders to Rodriques. In turn, they introduced rats, cats, and other predators, as well as burned off vegetation.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The significance of the swamp is that the first subfossil remains of the dodo were found here
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The controversy regarding the dodo is that a hypothesis suggests that dodos needed to digest the trees seed to increase the tree’s germination. Without the dodos, these trees were unable to thrive, following the dodo to extinction.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It may be linked because the parrot may have needed the dodo and the tortoise to digest the seeds for its diet.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    It is believed that the red tail was mistaken as the dodo in the late 17th century.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The dodo bird is thought to be the “tip of the iceberg” because the other species on this island severely declined in population size. Humans introduced invasive species, such as rats and cats, that gave rise to competition and predation. The species habitat was also destroyed due to human settlement.

  32. Alison Ballard says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first

    2. Due to artist misinterpretation it was thought that the Raphus solitaries were a third species of raphine.

    3) Viti Levu giant pigeon are relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was recently found that they are also a flightless bird and are thought to both be related to the crown pigeon.

    4) The Dodo was more robust but the Rodriques solitaire was taller and generally weighed more.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there is no complete specimen that exists, the external appearance is hard to describe.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire settled disputes by striking each other with their wings. In all existing birds where carpal spurs and knobs are present, these are used as weapons without exceptions. The dodo had weak pectoral muscles and more reduced wings in comparison with the Rodrigues solitaire. Also, due to availability of resources on the island, the Rodriques solitaire would presumably be more aggressive fighting for resources and territory.

    7) The Rodriques solitaire became extinct during the time of the tortoise trade. This is because hunters burnt off veggitation and hunted Rodriques solitaire and other animals that ate the eggs and chicks.

    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo is that the majority of subfossils have been found in those swamps. It also helps identify the main type of habitat. Also, because juveniles were not found within the swamps it suggests the dodo matures quickly and that breeding grounds are far from the swamps.

    9) It was thought that the Tambalacoque fruit could only be germinated if it passed through the digestive tract of the dodo first. Since the dodo when extinct it was thought that this is why the Tambalacoque tree was dying out.

    10) The Broad-billed parrot depended on the dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises for the seeds it ate. The Broad-billed parrot would eat the seeds the dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises digested.

    11) After the dodo went extinct people started calling the red rail a dodo as well. People could confuse these two different birds for being the same bird after the name changed.

    12) The extinction of the dodo was only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius. This is because after humans came onto Mauritius the introduction of many non-native species continued, putting stress on the native species. Much habitat was also taken from the island due to human influence.

  33. Isabel Brofsky says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first, approximately around the late 1660s.
    2) Old traveller’s accounts tell of a white “relative of the dodo” or white “dodos” living on Reunion island, but the fossil record shows no record of actual dodos existing there. However, fossils were discovered that belonged to the Reunion ibis, leading scientists to the conclusion that the Reunion white dodos were in fact the Reunion ibis.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to dodo biology and evolution because is was a similarly large and flightless member of the Columbidae family only slightly smaller than the dodo. It is believed to have been most closely related to the crowned pigeons of today, which would suggest that these are also some of the closest living relatives of the dodo itself.
    4) The evidence would suggest that the Rodriques solitaire was the larger of the two species at approximately 28 kg, whereas the Dodo was probably around 23 kg.
    5) In addition to there being no whole physical specimens of dodos or Rodriques solitaires in existence, scientists suspect that the depictions of these birds were likely created from individuals that were held captive and fattened for food. Therefore wild dodos and solitaires would likely be much thinner and more streamlined in shape than the paintings and sketches would suggest.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire is suspected to have been highly territorial because it possesses knobby spurs on its elbows which are used exclusively in living species as weapons. The dodo on the other hand lacked such weaponry and had small wings and weak pectoral muscles that do not indicate violent rivalry behavior.
    7) Traders involved in the tortoise trade in the early to mid 1700s destroyed the solitaire’s habitat, introduced predators such as cats and pigs which fed on its eggs and chicks, and hunted the solitaires themselves. Their extinction coincides with the establishment of the trade.
    8) The Mare aux swamp, located in Mauritius, was the site at which a large amount of subfossil dodo material was collected. Its location, near the sea, suggests that the dodo occupied dry coastal woodland habitat types. No juvenile dodos have been found at the site, which suggests that the dodo produced few offspring, or perhaps was a seasonal breeder with breeding grounds elsewhere.
    9) In the late 1970s, Stanley Temple hypothesized that the dodo tree’s seeds could only germinate by passing through the digestive tract of a dodo. This theory is highly disputed however, because the tree has germinated since the extinction of the dodo and there are likely other species such as tortoises and parrots that ingest the seeds and stimulate germination. The tree has been getting increasingly rarer, with likely only a few hundred left.
    10) Scientists hypothesize that the broad-billed parrot relied on the dodo and the tortoises to ingest and excrete the palm nuts that they have a preference for, allowing the parrots to break through the hard shell to the nut inside. A similar interaction occurs between the hyacinth macaw and cattle today.
    11) It has been suggested that all references to dodos after 1662 actually refer to red rails because of old first-person accounts of dodos and red rails used the names interchangeably. It may have been that after dodos went extinct, people began using the name dodo to describe red rails.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because many other species went extinct for similar reasons. Hunting, introduction of cats, pigs, and rats, disease, and other anthropogenic influences impacted many more indigenous species than just the dodo. The Broad-billed parrot and Cylindraspis tortoises are a few examples. Similar extinctions have occurred around the world for the same reasons, such as the great auk, which was also hunted relentlessly for its meat and eggs and chicks destroyed by introduced domestic and pest species.

  34. Bryana Cope says:

    1. Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The Dodo was the first to go extinct.

    2. Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    a. Because of its white coloration depicted by artists it was more likely to be the Reunion ibis.

    3. Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    a. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was described from subfossil material in Figi in 2001. It was slightly smaller than both the dodo and the solitaire but thought to be related to the crowned pigeon as well. This is relative to the studies of the dodo because of their similar characteristics anatomically.

    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    a. The Rodrigues solitaire was likely to have been a taller similar-looking bird, larger than the dodo.

    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The external appearance of these birds is hard to determine since the only complete specimens are artistic depictions. The plumage and coloration of the birds can only be described through the few paintings and written descriptions that exist.

    6. Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    a. Studies have indicated that the dodo can run quite fast, and that unlike the Rodrigues solitaire, there is no evidence that the dodo used its wings for combat. Their wings were much smaller and they had weaker pectoral muscles than the solitaire. Instead of using their wings to fight, the dodo likely used its beak, however since Mauritius didn’t have a short of resources like Rodriques, the dodo would have less reasons to evolve aggressive territorial behavior.

    7. What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The arrival of humans looking for fresh supplies, including tortoises, drastically disrupted the entire ecosystem, damaging the entire island, leading to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.

    8. What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    a. Tortoise bones were discovered in the Mare aux Songe swamp s on the southeast part of Mauritius in 1865. Dodo bird bones were discovered when the deepest parts of the swamp were excavated. Within one year enough bones were discovered to create an almost complete skeleton of the dodo.

    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    a. It was thought that the dodo tree went extinct because of the disappearance of the dodo bird, for which it relied to germinate its seeds. Stanley Temple hypothesized that the tree depended on the dodo to pass the seeds through its digestive tract before germination could begin. This hypothesis is contested by those who suggest the seeds could be germinated by other birds as well, and therefore its decline isn’t solely correlated with the extinction of the dodo bird.

    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    a. It is suggested that all three of these animals ate and distributed “the dodo tree” seeds. The broad-billed parrot depended on dodos and tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots.
    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    a. Some crude drawings of the red rail were misinterpreted as dodo species, Didus broeckii andDidus herberti. There are accounts after 1662 that use the name “Dodo” when referring to the red rail, this indicates that they had been transferred to it after the disappearance of the dodo. However other accounts, as late as 1693, are proposed to be the last true account of the dodo. Regardless of exact dates, the dodo was most likely extinct by 1700 and with a 95% confidence interval of 1688-1715, right after the Dutch left Mauritius.

    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    a. Mauritius was once entirely covered in forests, after the arrival of humans the ecosystem was badly damaged, far beyond reconstruction. Due to deforestation most endemic species on Mauritius went extinct.

  35. Michael alan Smith says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first, before the Rodriques solitaire.

    2) A potential third species was considered to more likely be the reunion ibis because of coloration. Artistic renditions often skewed the actual physical characteristics of the bird. The juvenile plumage was lighter in color then adults and bleaching would occur during taxidermy.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon was a large, flightless pigeon of Fiji that is only slightly smaller than the dodo making it relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution, thought to have evolved from the same genus Goura crowned pigeons.

    4) Based upon the limited evidence the Dodo was larger than Rodriques solitaire. It was more robust and had a large skull and beak.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the appearance because no complete specimens exist. The time of discovery to it’s extinction was so rapid no one thought to accurately record it. The external plumage is mainly described through illustrations and written accounts. Only one complete skeleton (subfossil) exists today and the rest are all composites of multiple birds that are not proportionally accurate or are missing bones. Also captive birds were lot fatter than other birds so the description of a captive bird may not accurately depict a wild bird.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire is considered highly territorial because it’s breastbone had a keel that supported larger muscles for using its wings in combat. The dodo lacked a keel, had smaller wings and lived in more stable climate and thus is considered less territorial.

    7) The tortoise trade coincided with the disappearance of the Rodrigues solitaire. Traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires and introduced such animals as cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp was once a large lake and is the site of many dodo subfossils. It is believed many of them became mired in the swamp trying to reach water during a long period of severe drought. This suggests that this area was suitable dodo habitat.

    9) The controversy surrounding the dodo and the “dodo tree” arose from the decline of “dodo trees” to supposedly 13 specimens in 1973. It is hypothesized the extinction of the dodo lead to the decline in “dodo trees”. The dodo would eat the tambalacoque fruits and only by passing through it’s digestive tract could the seeds germinate. Last the “dodo tree” could not be aged because of lack of growth rings making it difficult with any precision to know if the two event s coincided at the same time. While others contest it is humans, introduced species or the extinction of other animals.

    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo can be linked to the Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises. Both the tortoise and dodo may have eaten palm fruits and possibly crabs or shellfish. While the broad-billed parrot possibly relied on the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat fruits and excrete cleaned seeds that it could then eat.

    11) The red rail confuses the extinction dates of the dodo because it has been suggested that all late 17th century accounts of the dodo actually referred to sightings of the red rail, after the dodo had become extinct. Many accounts use terms relating to red rails or dodos interchangeably and some accounts of dodos more accurately depict red rails.

    12) The dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because since then at least 9 bird species have gone extinct, 4 reptiles, 1 mammal, 1 snail and some plants. Life is still threatened on the island, due to human activity, deforestation and introduced species.

  36. Paul Boughal says:

    The Dodo Exam Comments:
    1) Which Raphinae went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    • According to Wiki the Dodo went extinct first in 1662 when they were last widely seen and the Rodriques solitaire did not go extinct until the late 1700s.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    • The misconception was because of observing an albino bird or possibly an artist’s creativity, the Raphus solitarius showed more traits in common with the Reunion ibis.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    • both birds were large, flightless pigeons the evolved on island ecosystems with no predators to run them extinct, and they were thought to be related to crowned pigeons.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    • While the Rodriques solitaire might be taller than the Dodo but the Dodo was a larger in mass based on its skeleton.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    • It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because during the time of human observation there were not many recordings or descriptions of the birds. Also, scientists for the first time this year were able to look at the full skeleton figure, this may help us figure out what the bird looked like, but not to the specifics we desire.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    • Since Rodrigues receives less rainfall and has more seasonal variation, which would have affected the availability of resources on the island, the Rodrigues solitaire would have more reason to evolve aggressive territorial behavior. The Dodo receives more rainfall and has less seasonal variation, which would have affected the availability of resources on the island; the dodo would have less reason to evolve aggressive territorial behavior.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    • Because of the tortoise trade humans or traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks of these birds.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    • The swamp is the locations of most the skeletal remains of the Dodo bird and have best help construct full skeletons for further study and research.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    • The dodo bird went extinct about the same time as the Tambalacoque tree stopped reproducing successfully in the areas where there skeletons were found. So it has brought up discussion that the birds’ extinction is a result of the failure of the dodo tree reproduction. The last trees alive of this species in this area are about 300 years old!
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    • The Dodo ate fruits of trees and then dispersed the seeds of the trees that the Broad-billed parrot was dependent on.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    • The Red Rail had very similar anatomy compared to the Dodo bird and created a lot of confusion. People would interchange the birds names all the time.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    • The extinction of the Dodo is only the tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius because many other species such as the Dodo were adapted and balanced in their isolated habitat and when new, possibly invasive species, and other animals are added to the community it can throw off the whole ecosystem. These changes to the ecosystem kill off some species quicker than others, but when one species disappears, it creates a snowball effect of extinctions of the other dependent species.

  37. Shaun Weldon says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    With the last credible sighting in 1662, the Dodo was the first of the group to go extinct. The Rodrigues solitare is believed to have gone extinct somewhere around the 1730s.’
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The color of the specimen was considered to be one of its defining characteristics. It is now believed that the white coloration was due to bleaching during taxidermy. It is also possible that the specimen was an albino or had juvenile plumage.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The anatomy of the Viti Levu giant pigeon is very similar to that of the Raphinae, so much so that they have now been classified in the same taxonomic family. They also show similar evolutionary history in that they arrived on small volcanic islands with no large predatory mammals and no large competition for resources, resulting in their increase in body size.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Because the evidence is so limited, it is hard to say with certainty which species is larger. However, the popular belief is that the dodo had a thicker body, but was shorter than the solitaire. Many of the weight estimates of the dodo are based on birds held in captivity, which may have skewed estimates to a heavier average.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Because the extinction of the dodo and the solitaire occurred before cameras were invented, the only evidence that we have for the physical appearance of these two species is what remains in journals, paintings and drawings. Some experts believe that many paintings of species are based on taxidermy specimens, which could introduce more uncertainty.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    The island of Rodrigues does not receive as much rain as the island of Maurities, which results in more scarcity of resources. The scarcity of resources is what is thought to have lead to the territorial behavior of the solitaire, while the dodo did not develop this behavior.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade saw many more people coming to the island to trap tortoises, and as the human population expanded, so did loss of habitat. In addition to clearing and burning of forests, humans also introduced cats and pigs, which killed chicks and ate eggs of the solitaire. Solitaires were also hunted, presumably to remove competition for food that existed between the tortoises and the solitaires.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The Mare aux Songes swamp is the primary location for subfossil finds of dodo bones. Many experts believe that the high concentration of dodo bones in the swamp is a result of an extreme drought on Mauritius approximately 4,200 years ago.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    In the 1970s, Stanley Temple hypothesized that the reported decline in the dodo tree (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) was because the long lived tree needed to be passed through the digestive tract of a dodo in order to germinate. He thought that the endocarp of the seed needed to be abraded by the gizzard of the dodo, and in order to replicate this process tried feeding the fruits to turkeys to see if they could be used as a substitute. His hypothesis and research was later discredited as it was shown that the seeds germinated on their own.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Some experts believe that the dodo and tortoises on Mauritius would eat large hard seeds of many plant species on the island. In their waste products would be cleaned seeds and seed fragments that the broad-billed parrot could then eat. Because the parrot was smaller than the dodo or the tortoise, it is believed that those species were required for the parrot to survive.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    It is believed that many of the later reported sightings of the dodo may have actually been sightings of the red rail. Some even doubt the last sighting of the dodo in 1662 because the meat was described to have a texture more like that of the red rail.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is simply the most well known extinction of Mauritius. The issues that led to the extinction of the dodo, including habitat loss, hunting, and predation from invasive species did not affect the dodo alone. These factors also affected other species on the island, such as the red rail, the broad-billed parrot, and the cylindraspis tortoises.
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    With the current condition of dodo samples, the viability of DNA for cloning does not exists. Given that the last known dodo died over 300 years ago, the chances of finding a better preserved sample with DNA in a condition that could be used for cloning is very slim. Baring that type of discovery, yes, the dodo is really extinct.
    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    I think that the “easiest” way to resurrect the dodo would be to use the nicobar pigeon as a template for mission sequences of the dodo DNA, and also use the nicobar pigeon as a host for the eggs (size permitting). If the size does not allow this endeavor, then another larger bird such as an ostrich could be used.
    However, I think that carrying out such a plan is a bad idea. Much of the historical habitat of the dodo no longer exists, to say nothing of the ecological interactions with other now extinct organisms from the island. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend all of the time and money to bring back this species that will then have no place to live, and likely fall right back into extinction.

  38. Jessica Pestana says:

    The Dodo Exam
     
    Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo.
    Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Writings with few descriptions of birds from the islands visited by sailors were not descriptive enough to be able to discern the species of birds from each other. There was confusion between writer and reader. Dodos were not considered white like the ibis.
    Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    It is a possible divergence from crowned pigeons to which the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire belong. They have similar physiology.
    Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The dodo is considered a heavier built bird, the Rodrigues solitaire was taller and heavier overall.
    Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Actual specimens do not exist, so scientists have to rely on artwork and what people had described in their writings.
    Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo has less in pectoral muscles for fighting compared to the Rodrigues solitaire. Also, the island that the dodo lived on has less seasonal variation, so there is less reason to fight over resources.
    What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    That is the same time frame in which traders came to the islands and utilized the resources. Plus, they introduced dogs, pigs and other animals that were not previously known to the island.
    What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This swamp is the location of many findings of preserved dodo remains. It is also a look into what the typical habitat that the dodo would prefer and the reason why the extinction of the dodo would happen so quickly.
    Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    According to some scientists, the disappearing “dodo tree” was the cause of the loss of the dodo bird. Other scientists conclude that the loss of the dodo bird is not the reason that the numbers of “dodo trees” are decreasing.
    How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It is proposed that the broad-billed parrot depended on the dodo and the tortoises for the consumption of seeds.
    How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Accounts of seeing a dodo in the late 17th century were probably the red tail because the dodo was extinct by 1700.
    Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The dodo was a noticeable loss on the island because of the accounts taken. The extinction was very quick after the arrival of humans on the island. Loss of this creature can start an unbalance just like in any other ecosystem. It was the first noticeable upset. Every change after and from here on out is a chain reaction to the animals that live there. The environment was secluded and set apart. Additions of creatures from an entirely “different world,” so to speak, can upset the balance.

  39. Jamie G says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The dodo vanished before the year 1700, while the Rodrigues solitaire went extinct in the late 1700s.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    Early accounts from Réunion described the bird as being white, fat, and flightless, and used the confusing term ‘Dod-eersen.’ When 1800s naturalists discovered paintings from the 1600s depicting white dodos, they assumed they were accurate portrayals of the Réunion bird. These paintings actually all stemmed from a single depiction of a whitish stuffed specimen displayed in Prague, which may have been albino, a juvenile, or had its feathers bleached by the taxidermist. Alternatively, the pale coloration in this original painting may simply have been due to artistic license. No dodo remains have been found on Réunion. No complete skeletons of the Réunion ibis have been found either, but the fragments that have been recovered suggest a bird more morphologically similar to extant ibises than to the dodo.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The remains of a Viti Levu giant pigeon were discovered in Viti Levu (the largest island in the Fiji archipelago) in 1998 and were first described in 2001. Like the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire, it is thought to be related to the crowned pigeons. As a large-bodied flightless pigeon, it may have physical and/or behavioral characteristics in common with the raphines.

    Note: Fiji is 12,262 km from Mauritius. Modern-day crowned pigeons are found in New Guinea, which is about 4,700 km from Fiji and 8,700 km from Mauritius. It would be interesting to know how recently these related species diverged.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The dodo was shorter and had a heavier build than the solitaire. Estimated weights for the dodo range from 10.2 – 23 kg, while the solitaire is thought to have exhibited strong sexual dimorphism, with males weighing up to 28 kg and females being closer to 17 kg. The raphines gained and lost considerable amounts of weight throughout the course of the year. Dodos in particular tended to gain weight in captivity.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    It is difficult to describe the physical appearance of the raphines because very little information was collected on living birds. The accounts that exist were primarily written by individuals with no scientific training. No stuffed birds or complete skeletons exist, and the only remaining soft tissue specimens are a single mummified head and foot.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    The dodo lacks a keel, which anchors the wing muscles. The Rodrigues solitaire had a pronounced keel, which allowed muscle attachment for maximum power and leverage of the wings. Male and female solitaires had bony knobs on their wings, which are believed to have been used in territorial defense. The dodo does not possess these characteristics or any other structures associated with fighting.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire coincided with the height of the tortoise trade. Traders burned vegetation, introduced predators like cats and pigs, and hunted the solitaire for food.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    The Mare aux Songes swamp in southern Mauritius is where most existing dodo remains were excavated. Over three hundred individuals have been found, primarily in the center of the swamp. Skulls and wing bones are underrepresented. It is thought that the upper bodies of the dodos washed away or were scavenged. The most complete and best preserved dodo was found in the Mare aux Songes in 2007. Dodo remains from the Mare aux Songes are about 4000 years old, when birds became mired in the mud during a severe drought.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    In the 1970s biologists thought the peach-like tambalacoque was dying out, with only thirteen 300-year-old trees surviving. Wildlife biologist Stanley Temple postulated that the tambalacoque was dependent on dodo for digestive scarification of its seeds. He force-fed 17 tambalacoque pits to wild turkeys. Seven pits were crushed in the gizzard; the rest were excreted or regurgitated. When Temple planted those ten pits, three germinated, although previous research had shown that intact, unabraded pits occasionally germinated. Temple did not use controls and it was later found that several hundred young trees were growing on Mauritius. Since these trees germinated after the dodo went extinct, it is not possible that the tambalacoque was fully dependent on the dodo for germination. Other ecologists have pointed out that tortoises would be likelier to ingest tambalacoque fruits than dodos.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    Some extant parrots that are morphologically similar to the broad-billed parrot rely on other animals to digest fruits and excrete the seeds, which the parrot then ingests. Ornithologist D. T. Holyoak suggested that the broad-billed parrot may have relied on dodos and giant tortoises for that purpose. Other scientists have disputed that finding, stating that the broad-billed parrot’s beak more closely resembles that of the hyacinth macaw, which is capable of cracking very hard-shelled nuts.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The terms ‘dodo’ and ‘dodaers’ were used to describe the red rail after the dodo is believed to have gone extinct. Because these words were used for both birds, interpretation of historical accounts can be very confusing, particularly as the red rail went extinct within a century of the dodo.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    The dodo is the most famous animal endemic to Mauritius to have gone extinct, but many other species disappeared after humans began visiting the island. Because Mauritius is relatively biologically isolated, many of the lesser-known extinct species were endemic. Few endemic animals survived human colonization of the island. Those that remain are often endangered, although conservation efforts have been successful in a few cases.

    *Conservation success story: the Mauritius parakeet (also called the echo parakeet) was reduced to 10 individuals in the 1980s. Incredibly intensive management of wild birds and captive breeding efforts have made them one of the few species to ever be downlisted by the IUCN (from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered’ in 2007). There are now about 550 individuals in the wild, although the population (particularly juveniles) is currently threatened by psittacine beak and feather disease. See http://www.mauritian-wildlife.org/application/index.php?tpid=30&tcid=32

    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?

    At this time prospects to resurrect the dodo seem rather bleak due to the lack of DNA-containing specimens. Very little DNA has been recovered from existing soft tissue samples. It is possible that more genetic material will be recovered or that additional specimens will be found in the future.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?

    The fragments of dodo DNA that have been recovered could be inserted into the genome of the dodo’s closest extant relative, the Nicobar pigeon. How closely the resulting bird resembles the dodo will depend on the amount of dodo DNA researchers are able to obtain. Additionally, this bird would be behaviorally influenced by its parent, regardless of whether that parent is a Nicobar pigeon or a puppet. Even if scientists were able to create a bird that looks like the dodo (a remarkable achievement in and of itself), it may never behave like one.

  40. John Dingman says:

    1.) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2.) The bird thought to be the third in the genius was actually more likely a Reunion ibis because at the juvenile stage the bird would have white plumage and the feathers could have been bleached white by the taxidermies.
    3.) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the Dodo because it has similar characteristics to the anatomy of the Dodo.
    4.) The Rodriques solitaire was taller and on average heavier than the Dodo.
    5.) The Dodo has been extinct for hundreds of years and was a time before the photograph. The only way to capture an image back so many years ago was to draw a portrait, which is why today all we can go off of for the Dodo are sketches and fossils of the bird.
    6.) The Dodo seemed less territorial than the Rodriques solitaire because of the habitats that the remains were discovered upon. For the Dodo, food was easier to come across as there was a large supply, but for the Solitaire, food was more scarce and competitive.
    7.) The tortoise trade may have killed the Rodriques solitaire because the traders burnt vegetation and actively hunted them and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.
    8.) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp was the discovery and remains of many Dodos. There is also a strong possibility that this could have been the original home of the Dodo.
    9.) The Controversy regarding the Tambalacoque (the dodo tree), is that is going extinct and it started happening around the time the Dodo went extinct. It was believed that the Dodo ate the nuts that the tree produced and only after the seed passed through its digestive system could the seed germinate. It is believed that the Dodo is the only bird that can germinate the seed.
    10.) It was believed that the Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises were linked to the Dodo because after the Dodo bird fed upon the fruits of the Culindraspis, the Broad-billed parrot would eat the seeds out of the Dodo’s droppings.
    11.) The red tail confused the extinction date of the Dodo because the portraits of both birds looked very similar.
    12.) The extinction of the Dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” because other species that are currently living on the island of the Dodo are reducing in population size. This is happening because the species are adjusting to the disappearance of species it once relied upon.

  41. Jena Saito says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo was the first to go extinct.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Raphine was thought to be an artist’s rendition, the coloration of the species exhibited juvenile plumage traits and bleaching during taxidermy.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    It’s believed to be a close relative to the dodo.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitare was larger in size, but the dodo was more robust.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    There are no specimen preserved of either species, information is only limited to artwork that documents accounts of the birds.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    In the environment of Rodriques solitare, habitat was much more limited thus leading to territoriality in the animal, whereas in Mauritius, the dodo had a wider range with greater resources to sustain larger populations.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Tortoise trade became a popular activity from 1730-1750, are the same time the Rodriques solitare went extinct.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Mare aux Songes swamp is where fossilized dodo bird bones were discovered.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Tambalacoque might have relied on the dispersion of dodos because the dodo would eat the seeds released from the plant then excrete it across the landscape, thus when the dodo went extinct the same fate followed for Tambalacoque.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The dodo and Cylindraspis tortoise were a food provider for the Broad-billed parrot that ate the seeds excreted by the dodo and tortoise.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    They exhibit similar physiological appearances which can confuse the distinction between the birds.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Mauritius has become an island of extreme biodiversity with specialized species thus species introduced to the land are unfit to compete with invasive and non-invasive species.

  42. Kady Newman says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The only accounts of these birds were drawings, or descriptions. The physical appearances of these birds were very similar. It is very possible that a person from that time period could mix the two birds up.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    These birds were of the same descent as the Dodos. They were flightless birds, who were slightly smaller, yet lived int he same sort of island ecosystem. This is important because, these birds were so similar that they also had a similar evolutionary response.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques Solitaire was taller than the Dodo, and weighed more.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Few remnants of these species have been uncovered. We only have descriptions given by artists of the time. Therefore, noone really knows how accurate these depictions are.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Dodos lived in a much more stable environment. They did not have to fight for resources, like the Rodriques Solitaire. Therefore, the Dodos did not have to be as territorial.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Tortoise trade significantly effected the Rodriques Solitaire’s habitat. The impact humans had on this environment was not sustainable for the Rodriques Solitaire.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp contained many Dodo remains.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    “The Dodo tree”, was somewhat dependent on the Dodo’s seeds in order to reproduce. Therefore, when the Dodo went extinct, it is believed that the Tambalacoque went extinct as well. However, some Ecologists believe that the tree has reproduced beyond the extinction of the Dodos.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The Dodos and the Tortoises, ate from the same foods. Therefore, they excreted seeds in their waste, which became food for the Broad-billed parrot.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The Red Rail, and the Dodo look very similar. This could be a reason as to why people mistaken the two. Also, the Dodos may have in fact survived longer than previously thought, due to the human impact on their environment.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The environment may not have been able to sustain human impacts. The impacts were brought upon he introduction of new species, plants, animals, etc. The Dodos were no longer able to survive in this environment, because of these changes.

  43. Heather Wennerlind says:

    The Dodo
    1. The dodo.
    2. Because remains are closer to Ibis’s then Dodo’s
    3. It is believed to be a relative of the dodo.
    4. The rodriques solitaire
    5. Because no complete remains (such as a taxidermy mount) exist, and only skeletal remains exist. Also, artwork from the period was rather inexact for biological appearance.
    6. Because Rodriques solitaire skeletons show evidence of territorial defense wounds while dodo’s do not.
    7. Tortoise hunters burned vegetation, hunted the birds, and introduced dogs and cats which likely helped lead to the birds extinction.
    8. It was a site where fossils of many organisms in the dodo’s ecosystem were found.
    9. Some claim that the dodo was necessary for seed dispersal, and its extinction is shy the trees are not successfully reproducing well. However, others claim tortoises dispersed the seed more.
    10. The dodo may have provided cleaned seeds in its droppings these other species ate.
    11. All later accounts of dodo’s may have actually referred to this bird.
    12. Because other species endemic to Mauritius are already extinct or becoming rare, and many more extinctions may follow the dodo.

  44. Ashley O'Bright says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    A third species of Raphine was thought to exist because of a specimen with light coloration. This specimen was actually an albino, a juvenile, a faded taxidermy specimen, or was left to artistic artistry.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    This bird is relevant because it is related to the dodo. It also evolved in the same way as the dodo, under similar conditions.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire seemed to be the larger of the two birds.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Artist depictions are basically the only evidence for how these birds looked—very few specimens have been recovered. An artist’s rendition may not always be accurate.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitaire had to compete more for food and resources than the dodo. This was probably due to the size of their habitat and populations within the habitat.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Hunters during the tortoise trade burned vegetation and introduced predators like pigs and cats. They also ate the solitaires.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Most of the dodo remains that have been recovered were found in this swamp.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Some scientists believe that the reduced numbers of reproducing dodo trees coincided with the decreasing dodo birds. Others believe that the reduced numbers of each have nothing to do with each other.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The dodos and tortoises ate fruits and then dropped the seeds that the broad-billed parrots used for sustenance.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    It is thought that sightings of dodos in the late 17th century are actually sightings of red rails, as they look similar.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo was just the start of extinctions on the island of Mauritius. Many other species have gone extinct since due to similar reasons: habitat degredation, hunting, and introductions of non-native species.

  45. Brad Riehle says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    The potential third species was a bird with a unique color that had been described by early explorers.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    It could help determine how the dodo evolved and what species it evolved from. It could also indicate how the dodo got to the island.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    Based on current evidence it is unsertain which bird was larger, but it is know that the Rodriques solitaire was taller and the Dodo was likely thicker that is to say more stocky.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    No complete dodo specimen exists and their external appearance is based on accounts from the 1500 and 1600’s. Many of which were of captive individuals who likely had different diets than in the wild.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    The dodo lived in areas with more available resources while the Rodrigues lived in areas with scarce resources.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    Tortoise traders hunted the rodriques and burnt of vegetation from the island.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    The swamp is where a large number of dodo subfossils were found.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    It has been suggested that the seeds of the dodo tree need to pass through the dodo digestive tract to germinate. This is the hypothesized reason for the rapid decline in the dodo tree population.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The Broad-billed parrot ate palm seeds after the palm fruit had been eaten by dodo’s or tortoises.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    Many sightings of the dodo were likely to have actually been the red rail.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    Biological interactions such as the ones discussed earlier, dodo tree and Broad-billed parrot, are the bigger part of the iceberg. One extinction leads to another which leads to more. Also, extinct species could have evolved into new species. So when species go extinct it’s not just that one species that goes extinct it is everything that it could evolve into.

  46. Alexa Edwards says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo went extinct in the mid to late 1600’s before the Rodriques solitaire’s extinction in the late 1700’s.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    It is believe that the third species of raphine was initially thought to be the “white dodo” based on incorrect assumptions made of historic accounts and drawings. Discoveries of subfossils on Reunion only began to occur within the last 40 years. These fossils were examined and found to belong to an ibis species. Experts then began to compare the historic physical and behavioral descriptions of the “white dodo” to the extinct ibis subfossils and it is now widely accepted that these accounts were instead of the Reunion ibis. At this point there has been no proof of a dodo like bird residing on Reunion.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is believed to have been a close relative of the dodo. It was very similar in size and have many of the same taxonomic structure. These similarities allow us to gain an understanding of possible dodo physiology.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    Based on the limited evidence it is hard to say which was “larger”. Research as shown that the dodo was shorter and had a more robust skeleton (especially that skull and beak!), which may has led to a greater mass. On the other hand, the Rodriques solitaire has been described as taller. It is difficult to make a clear decision as both are extinct and records are scarce.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    As mentioned above, records of both species are quite limited. Also the biological observations of the time were mostly recorded in drawings which are never exactly accurate, at least not as accurate as photographs may be, due to variability in skill and opinion in artists. More difficulties occur as specimens remains are extremely rare and usually only fragments.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    The variability in territorial behavior between these two species was likely due to the environments they resided in. The dodo lived in Mariatus where conditions were more stable, thus life was less desperate and competition wasn’t as necessary. Harsher conditions occurred in Redriques, where the solitaire occupied, making it necessary for individuals to guard larger territories in order to have enough resources to survive.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoises became a largely traded commodity during the period of human interaction with the solitaire. As there is a delicate balance in all ecosystems, the removal or addition of species can have a direct impact on other organisms in the ecological community. The traders introduced invasive species such as cats and pigs which preyed on young birds and eggs. They also burned much of the tortoise’s, and thus the solitaire’s, natural habitat. In essence the incentive of the tortoise trade led to invasive species introduction and habitat destruction which are two major overall factors in extinction rates.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    This swamp is significant as it is the location of the majority of discovered Dodo remains which have been essential tools for leaning about this extinct species. The high density of adult birds in the swamps gives clues to the bird’s preferred habitat as well as possibly indicating that nesting sites occurred in a separate habitat type which may explain why explain the absence of juvenile skeletons.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    It has been believed that “the dodo tree” required their seeds to pass through the digestive tract of the dodo before they could germinate thus explaining the decline of tree populations with the extinction of the dodo. Other scientist believe that it is possible other seed eating species may be able to aid in the dispersion of the tree seeds. Although rare, some of these trees have been able to grow from seeds since the extinction of the dodo, indicating the species was not essential to the tree’s survival.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The Broad-billed parrot’s diet relied on seeds from local palm trees. They would get access to the seeds in the excrement of the dodo as well as the tortoises who ate the palm fruit.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The red rail and the dodo had anatomical similarities which led to confusion in identification between the two species. Sightings of the red rail may have been confused for the dodo, making late dodo sightings unreliable and the actual extinction date unclear.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    The remaining populations on Mauritius face difficulties with the increasing addition of invasive species by humans which compete for resources and prey on local species. They also face habitat destruction and alteration resulting in increasing population declines. It has proven difficult for the natural local species to adapt to these changes.

  47. Sandee D. says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    It was considered to be a third species because it was albino and other characteristics such as its color and age.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The bird was within the same family and had similar characteristics in its morphology.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The rodriques would be larger in size.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is hard to physically describe the size because we have never had an existing bird to look at. We have only been able to estimate their size and features from artwork and journal entries from earlier times of the people who were actually able to witness them.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodopossibly less so?
    It appeared that the solitaire was more territorial because they were equipped to defend off other animals while the dod didn’t have many features for protecting their territory. Also it seemed as though the solitaire had more less resources in their territory so the likelihood of them having to protect them from others were higher.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Vegetation was burned off and introduction of other species occurred around the same time as the extinction of the solitaire. The tortoise trade brought in a lot of foreign and exotic things to the island which could have resulted in competition for certain resources as well.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This area is significant because fossils have been founded here of dodo which could indicate that this could have been the type of habitat that they resided in.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The controversy is in deciding of the “dodo tree” and the dodo had a sort of symbiotic relationship with one another. It could be more than just a coincidence that they both went extinct around the same time. The dodo would consume the seed and then it could potential help with germination of the seed.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The dodo and tortoise shared similar diets and it was thought that they would prepare the seed for easier digestion for the parrot after they consumed it. IF the parrot solely depended on the dodo and the tortoise to strip the seed so they could consume it then it would only make sense that once these species disappeared their gut wouldn’t be able to adapt quickly to be able to process the seeds without help.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red confuses the extinction date because since we only have drawings and literature to reference to, this red rails could have been easily mixed up and misidentified as a Dodo.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    It’s the proverbial tip of the iceberg because Mauritius has been fragmented and has its land exploited by introduced animals and humans. Unnatural predators and disease became major factors and started affecting the other species that didn’t have enough time to adapt to the stark and abrupt changes.

  48. Bradley Peters says:

    1. The Dodo
    2. It has more similar physical features to the ibis, error could have come from artistic license, could have been an albino, or other variables
    3. Because it is believed to be an ancestor to the dodo.
    4. The solitaire was taller, but not as thick as the dodo
    5. Because little was recorded about them, due to the short time of interaction with humans, and the ignorance of those who were around them. They weren’t accepted as extinct until 200 years later.
    6. The solitaire had weapon like spurs on its wings, which may have been used to fight with, which were absent in the dodo
    7. It brought humans to their territory, causing alterations to their habitat and introduced species.
    8. Some of the first fossils were discovered there
    9. The tree could only reproduce if it was processed by the dodo, but now it is believed that tortoises fill that niche
    10. The parrot at their crap! Kinda, they ate what the dodo and tortoise didn’t digest.
    11. Because the names were used interchangeably creating confusion.
    12. Because many species have gone extinct as well due to the same reasons, and many more are on the same path.

  49. Alex Clarke says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first
    2) The Raphus solitarius was likely miscategorized due to its color (or lack of color) and was thought to be a species of raphine instead of ibis.
    3) Studying the Viti Levu giant pigeon helps us to understand dodo biology because the two species are closely related (the giant pigeon is the next best thing).
    4)The Rodriques solitaire was larger in size than the dodo.
    5) It is difficult to describe the appearance of the dodo and Rodriques solitaire because the only record of them is descriptions and artists interpretations, which can be unreliable and vary in accuracy.
    6)Based on the Rodriques solitaires’ wing knobs and skeletal fractures, it is likely that they fought often and were territorial. The dodo lacks any combative wing adaptations.
    7) The tortoise trade and extinction of the Rodriques solitaire are strongly linked. The tortoise trade brought hunters to the Rodriques solitaire habitat and anthropogenic activities and introduction of nonnative species likely lead to it’s extinction.
    8) Subfossils of dodo remains have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, which are crucial to our understanding of the dodo.
    9)Dodos are thought to have dispersed seeds of the Tambalacque tree and the dodo’s extinction was thought to have been the cause of the decline in tree populations. New evidence suggests that tortoises are much more effective at dispersing seeds than the dodo was.
    10) It is hypothesized that the Broad-billed parrot fed on the fruit seeds that were made available for consumption through the digestion of fruit by the dodo. The parrot relied on the dodo and when the dodo went extinct, so did the parrot.
    11) Sketches of the red rails after the extinction of the dodo confused the issue if the dodo was extinct or not.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is the tip of the iceberg because there is huge potential for other organisms in similar island ecosystems to go extinct as well.

  50. Jory Brookreson says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The dodo bird went extinct first (century after discovery in 1598, the Rodriques solitaire went extinct in the late 1700s).

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    Initially it was incorrectly assumed because of the white coloration, but later on it was suggested that the specimen was white due to albinism, and also suggested by Valledor de Lozoya that the light plumage was a juvenile trait, result of bleaching old taxidermy specimens, or artistic license.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    Its slightly smaller then the dodo, and is another large flightless pigeon.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae) The Rodriques had a long next and longer legs, where the dodo bird had shorter but more stout legs and neck, in over all evidence (still incomplete) the Rodriques seems to be the larger of the two birds.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    There are no complete physical specimens to go off of, just pieces, digital recreations, and pictures based on descriptions.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    Based on their morphology they settled disputes bu striking with their wings, and used knobs on their wriest for additional aid. Fractures in their wing bones also showed possible combat usage. All extant birds were carpal spurs and knobs are present used these for combat.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoise trade means human involvement is mass. Traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaries and imported cats, and pigs that preyed on the egg and the chicks.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    First Dodo fossils remains were found here.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    It was hypothesized that the dodo at the tambalcoque fruits and only by passing through the digestive tract of the dodo bird would the seeds actually germinate. So without the dodo birds it was believe this lead to the decline of the dodo tree.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    It is suggested that dodos and the tortoises would eat and digest the fruit passing the clean seeds in which the broad billed parrot would then eat, this was needed due to the weakly constructed bill of the parrot.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The name dodo was used for both the dodo bird and then the red rail after the extinction of the dodo bird. The names were used between the two birds causing confusion.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    With the invasion of humans to the island during the tortoise trade, the dodos quickly went extinct right after humans arrived, and with the constant habitat destruction threw burning, and the introduction of cats, and pigs by the humans for hunting purposes it is more then possible and most likely true that many of the native bird species were hunted and killed off just as the dodos were.

    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?

    There are currently no real remains of the dodo bird, and without the DNA of the original dodo bird there is really no chance for a dodo resurrection, so yes the dodo is extinct. Possibly relatives of the Dodo bird could carry the secret of the dodo bird genome, but without real fossil and tissue evidence of the Dodo bird we may never know if its possible that they are alive. So yes, the dodo bird is extinct.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?

    Resurrection of the Dodo bird is most likely not possible, especially without strong fossil support, and potential areas for DNA farming there is essentially no real way to resurrect the Dodo. Even if resurrecting the Dodo may not be a good idea because they no longer have suitable habitat present, due to the human interaction of mammalian predators (cats, and pigs) to its native island, and trying to reintroduce a resurrected species may result in failure regardless. What is left for the Dodo bird is lost to us until we once again find it.

  51. Nicholas Miller says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    A potential third species of raphine now considered more like to be the reunion ibis was due to its coloration, it was either an albino or bleached white by a taxidermist.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because its size and physiology is very similar to the dodo bird.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Based on the limited evidence it was deducted that the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the dodo, it had a greater weight.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because these birds have been extinct for some time. We can only base our depiction of there appearance from fossils or artists renditions of what they may have looked like.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so? \
    It appears the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial because the food resources were limited where it lived, but the dodo had plenty of food resources thus territoriality did not maximize fitness.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The saddlebacked Mauritius giant tortoise and domed Mauritius giant tortoise both lived with the solitaires. Due to the tortoise trade they were hunted extensively and the addition of introduced animals, led to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The significance of the Mare aux songes swamp to studies of the dodo is high due to the fact that many dodo fossils have been found there. This gives us some insight on the preferred habitat of the bird.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Apparently the dodo bird was crucial to this tree, the stomach acid of the dodo was required to break the seed dormancy, thus the dodo was essential for germination of this tree and when the dodo went extinct so too did the tambalacoque.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Both dodos and cylindraspis tortoises eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which in turn is forage for the broad billed parrot.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail and dodo are physically very similar and have been confused and talked about interchangeably, this led to confusion about the extinction dates for the dodo.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius because of the degree of anthropogenic influences on the island which are leading to extinction of these species at a more rapid rate.

  52. Casey Smith says:

    1.) The dodo went extinct before the rodriques
    2.) The third potential species of raphine is actually considered to be the reunion ibis because of a mess up during the taxidermy process. The coloration and other physical characteristics show that the specimen was more likely the reunion ibis.
    3.) The Viti Levu bird is considered to be close to the dodo when it comes down to the size and physiology of the two. Allowing scientists to study the now extinct dodo bird through the Viti Levu.
    4.) The rodriques solitaire was on average larger than the dodo.
    5.) It is difficult to describe and portrait what the dodo bird and the rodriques looked like because all historical accounts of the birds are hearsay. There wasn’t substantial scientific documentation as to what the birds really looked like so all “historical accounts” are just artistic renditions of the birds.
    6.) The limiting resources of island life were much different on mauritis than on the island of rodriques. On mauritis food and water supply were plentiful relieving the pressure of survival on the dodo. While, on the island of rodriques food and water was more scarce, causing the rodriques solitaire to be more territorial to ensure the survivability of its own.
    7.) Trade is what drove settlers to come to the islands. Without the tortoise trade, invasive species such as rats dogs and cats would have never invade and caused the extinction of these animals.
    8.) The Mare aux songes swamps have yielded significant fossil remains of the dodo bird.
    9.) Original thoughts about the tambalacoque were that it was in decline due to the lack of the dodo bird. Scientists thought that the dodo propagated the seeds when in reality it is thought that parrots and tortoises did. In actuality the tree isn’t in decline.
    10.) The broad billed parrot potentially could have heavily relied upon the dodo and tortoise for seed propagation. Without the widespread propagation of the palm fruit seeds the broad billed parrot might have died out.
    11.) The confusion between the red rail and the dodo’s extinction are caused in the fact that sometimes their common names are interchangeable when used in records. Leaving the exact date of the dodos extinction to be up in the air.
    12.) The dodo was only one of the many different endemic species of mauritis island to go extinct. With the onset of mammals and European settlers, the islands ecosystems couldn’t handle it. The settlers killed many animals for food and dramatically altered the land for agriculture and colonies. Also the animals that came with the European settlers played a major role in the extirpation of many of the species on the island. They would consume the animals themselves, their young, or directly compete for food with the dodos and many of the other species and eventually these actions drove the animals to extirpation.

  53. Ben Grimes says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    Early descriptions were based on observation and were proved incorrect when fossil records showed that the third species of raphine was actually an ibis species.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    It is believed that the Viti Levu giant pigeon is related to the dodo. It diverged from a common ancestor and developed similar traits as the dodo due to the similarity in island ecosystem.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The Rodrigues soilitaire was larger.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    Because no conserved specimens remain, only fossil evidence.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    Mauritius had more rain and was more environmentally stable so there was less need for territorial aggression than on the drier, less stable island of Rodrigues.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Tortoise hunters burned vegetation, killed solitaires and released cats and pigs that ate solitaire chicks and eggs.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    It seems many dodo birds would get stuck in the mud and their fossils were preserved for later discovery.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    Tambalacoque is an endangered tree with only 13 remaining specimens, all 300 years old – about how long it has been since the extinction of the dodo. It is proposed that the Tamalacoque tree required digestion by a dodo bird to germinate.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The dodo and tortoise fed on fruits and excreted seeds were consumed by the broad-billed parrot. The extinction of the dodo led directly to the extinction of the broad-billed parrot.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The two were mistakenly interchangeably identified leading to speculation that the dodo was incorrectly determined extinct when in fact it wasn’t.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    Because the dodo was only one of many species who went extinct after human influence began on the island.

  54. AJ says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo was the first to go extinct of the two.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Original accounts of a “dodo like bird” being observed in the area were eventually found to be without merit. There was no evidence of any such bird and in fact paintings found around this time contributed to the idea that a light colored “dodo” was present in the area.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    These animals share a similar lineage, size, and potentially physiology.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Given what we know about what the weight of the animals may have been the Rodriques solitaire was a larger animal however in looking at the available skeletons the dodo does seem to have a bulkier, sturdier skeletal construction.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    We have very few accounts of what the animals were actually like and the accounts we do have are often vague and sometimes contradict one another.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitaire had knobby bone growths on its wrists and incidence of fractures to the bones in the “wings” may indicate that they used these parts for sparring.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Their extinction coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. During this time traders burnt large areas of habitat and released non native species which were two blows the Rodriques solitaire was simply unable to recover from.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This site represents what prime dodo habitat may have been like as several skeletons have been found in the area following the first.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was hypothesized that the Tambalacoque tree actually needed the dodo in order for its seeds to germinate and that there was perhaps some relation between the two that represented a symbiotic relationship. This has been contested however as this tree still exists to this day and there has never been a proven connection seen between this tree and similar bird species to the dodo.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    These species likely exhibited similar foraging styles and may have even depended on one another in some form or another. The Broad-billed parrot actually needed the tortoise and dodo to eats the fruits in order to leave the seeds open and available to the parrots.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    There are accounts that use the terms red rail and dodo interchangeably making it unclear as to whether or not they were distinct species or potentially the same animal being referred to.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The dodo was not the only species affected by the arrival of humans, though, in that area, it may have been the best documented extinction due to its size and original abundance. Many more species may have and did go extinct along with the dodo before humans had had their way on Mauritius.

  55. Thomas Koenig says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    That bird was actually an albio member of the species, perhaps had lighter coloration or some other reason that the coloration was much lighter than normal.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The giant pigeon is important because history shows they were taxonomically related, and are in the same family.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    When measuring by wing span, both are the mostly the same. The Rodriques solitaire is heavier than the dodo, and likely taller. Not much information is available on either of these species though.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Both have been extinct for so long that we have very diluted accounts of what they looked like. Translations may have been mixed up over the years as well, or artists may have been limited in their abilities to accurately portray the colors of the species due to less technology.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo had a lot more food in its habitat than the Rodriques solitaire, so they didn’t have to fight much. The other species needed to be more aggressive to obtain enough food, eventually making it territorial.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    As traders came into the R.s.’s habitat to collect more tortoises or supplies, they would burn off vegetation. New predators like domestic/feral cats were introduced as more humans came into their habitat, increasing the amount of R.s.’s that were consumed as prey.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This is where the first dodo skeleton was found, as was later determined that this may have been where they originated from due to the large concentration of skeletons found there.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    This discussion includes whether or not the dodo played a role in the reproductive cycle of this tree, which was found in the area where a large concentration of dodo skeletons were found. The dodo had a unique stomach acid that was able to bring the seeds of this tree out of dormancy, which is why the oldest trees able to be found are approximately 300 years old, which about when the dodo died out.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The dod and tortoise could have eaten and digested palm fruit, then excreted the seeds. The broad-billed parrot then could have consumed these after being broken down by the other two species.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Many historical accounts use the two terms interchangeably, which obviously poses problems for trying to determine which species was actually being referred to.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    As Mauritius is extremely isolated and has a relative lack of predators before human arrival, species native to the area were subjected to quick and violent change when people began settling the area. Further habitat degradation has continued, making the possibility for more extinctions to occur very likely.

  56. Stephen Emrick says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    It was considered to be the Reunion ibis because of its coloration, as it was most likely an albino.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The giant pigeon was related to the dodo and is physically similar.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire was more than likely the larger of the two, but this is hard to determine as we have no living specimens and must go on mainly artis
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Neither of the species are around today, which leaves us with only the artists’ illustrations to use.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The habitat of the dodo had more available resources and therefore less competition occurred. The Rodriques solitaire had less resources, leading to competition.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Traders devastated the habitat as well as introduced cats, dogs, and pigs. These animals whittled the Rodriques solitaire numbers down.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp is the location almost all of the dodo fossils were found.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was believed the seeds of the dodo tree needed to be digested by the dodos in order to germinate. With the extinction of the dodo, they no longer had a means of reproducing.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The parrot would feed on the seeds that the tortoise and dodo would excrete after eating the palm fruit.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail was often mistaked for the dodo as they have similar skeletal structures.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Being on an island, most of the species were used to little to no competition. With the introduction of humans and all their actions, the species had little time to adapt and populations went on the decline.

  57. LeAnna Thompson says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2) The white coloration led to initial misidentification, it is possible this specimen was an albino.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is a close relative of the dodo exhibiting similar size and physiology, making it relevant to studies.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire was larger than the dodo based on limited evidence.
    5) Neither species is in existence anymore.
    6) Dodo bird habitat was much more diverse and had a much greater availability of food compared to that of the Rodriques solitaire. Due to the scarcity of food the Rodriques solitaire evolved to be more territorial to compete for available resources.
    7) Tortoise traders burned Rodriques solitaire habitat in addition to introducing cats and pigs. These animals fed on the eggs and chicks of Rodriques solitaire, leading to their decline in numbers.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant to the study of dodos because of the abundance of fossil remains.
    9) The Tambalacoque tree and the Dodo birds were thought to have a commensalism relationship. It was hypothesized that in order for this tree to germinate, its seeds must first be eaten and passed through the digestive tract of the Dodo bird. Tambalacoque trees found on Mauritius are estimated to be similar in age to the extinction of the Dodo. Since extinction, there has been a significant decrease in Tambalacoque trees.
    10) It is believed that the broad-billed parot and Cylindraspis tortoise may have also aided in the dispersion of Tambalacoque seeds.
    11) Due to similarities in appearance, theorists speculate that Dodo bird sightings in the late 17th century were actually red tail.
    12) Humans are to blame for the Dodo bird’s extinction, as we are for the decline of many struggling species. It is only the “tip of the iceberg” because as human populations increase extinctions like this are more likely to happen.
    13) Yes, the Dodo bird is extinct. But it’s close relative the Manumea or “little Dodo” is still alive.
    14) Personally I do not feel it necessary to resurrect the Dodo bird. Species go extinct or evolve over time. Yes human influence is primarily to blame for the Dodo bird’s extinction, but that is part of the circle of life. Other species will adapt and fill the ecological niche left behind by the Dodo, until then we wait.

  58. Sarah T says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    a. It was considered to be a third species because it was albino and because of its coloration.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    a. The Viri Levu giant pigeon is believed to be a close relative to the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    a. The dodo was larger in size.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. The dodo and the Rodriques solitaire went extinct so soon after human presence that the only things we have to go off of is drawings, skeletons, and taxidermy individuals.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    a. The dodo had less restrictions so they did not need to be as territorial as the Rodriques solitaire.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    a. Tortoise hunters destroyed the habitat and introduced predators into the ecosystem where they live.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    a. Many dodo remains have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    A. It was believed that the seeds needed to be passes through the dodo in order to germinate and disperse the seeds so they could not survive without the dodo.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    a. The dodo and tortoise would consume the palm fruit and after passing it through their digestive system the parrot could then consume the previously digested product.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    a. Red rail and dodo were used interchangeably and they have similar appearances.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    a. The appearance of humans on the island has created changes in the ecosystem including introduced species. This may be the tip of the iceberg because these species might not be able to adapt to these changes causing them to become extinct.

  59. Emily Koch says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first, before the Rodriques solitaire
    2. The initial specimen of the supposed third species of raphine has been found to be misclassified due to coloring. This specimen was determined to be either an albino or a juvenile of the Reunion ibis species, or a result of improper taxidermy or artistic license.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is only slightly smaller then the dodo; and like the dodo, it is flightless and evolved on an island. Also, both birds are taxonomically related to the crowned pigeons, making the giant pigeon relevant to the studies of dodo biology and evolution.
    4. It is hard to say based on what little evidence is provided which bird was larger. Both varied greatly in weight depending on gender. The Dodo seems to have been shorter and more rotund then the Rodriques solitaire, which was taller and usually heavier.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of both the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire for many reasons. First, both have been extinct for a long time, so getting ones hands on or even viewing a living specimen is out of the question. Second, no photographs exist of the animals, and limited and unreliable drawings or descriptions are few and far between. People did not understand the idea of extinction back when these animals were alive, so collecting data was not forethought. One complete skeleton remains of the dodo, but that is hardly enough to get an accurate description of the entire species.
    6. The Rodriques solitaire have carpal spurs and knobs on their wings, which is what suggests they were highly territorial animals. This animal would have evolved in an area where resources were scarce, causing a need for aggressive territorial behavior. Also, the dodo evolved in an area with more available resources and less predation risk.
    7. The growth of the tortoise trade coincides with the disappearance of the Rodriques solitaire. The birds habitat was burned by the people in the tortoise trade, who also hunted the birds and released species like cats and pigs that preyed upon the Rodriques solitaires and their young.
    8. This specific swamp contained subfossils of a number of extinct species, including the dodo. This could lead to the idea that the swamp once provided ideal habitat for dodo birds.
    9. The Tambalacoque is endemic to Mauritus and currently has a declining population. Some of the individual trees on the island are over 300 years old, around the time that dodo’s went extinct. It has been stipulated that the dodo was essential for Tambalacoque population growth, as the dodo would eat these seeds, pass them through their digestive system where they would germinate once passed onto the ground in the bird’s feces. However, some believe that the population decline of the tree has nothing to do with the disappearance of the dodo as some seeds of germinated since the dodos demise.
    10. Both dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises foraged on palm fruits and in turn excrete their seeds. These seeds were then eaten by species like the Broad-billed parrot.
    11. Descriptions and sketches of the red rail from dates around the time of the extinction of the dodo seem to have been confused with drawings of the dodo.
    12. Because Mauritius is an islands, the species that inhabit it have been isolated for a very long time and have not had the chance to evolve to new world pressures like invasive species and other environmental changes.

  60. Chad Uskoski says:

    1.) The Dodo went extinct first. The Dodo was extinct by 1693, while the Rodrigues solitaire lasted until the late 1700s.

    2.) No fossils of dodo like birds have ever been discovered on the species’ island home of Reunion. Early accounts of a dodo-like bird and a few paintings of white dodos probably combined to lead to the misidentification of the island’s now extinct animal as a member of the Raphinae group.

    3.) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is part of the crowned pigeons genus, Goura. Molecular analysis suggests that the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire are offshoots of this group, making the Viti Levu giant pigeon a possible ancestor or cousin to the dodo.

    4.) The solitaire was slightly larger and heavier then the dodo.

    5.) No living or preserved specimins exist, leaving us without even a complete body to examine.

    6.) The solitaire had a keeled sternum, which the dodo does not, and was known to use its wings in combat, suggesting the chest of the solitaire took more of a beating during its evolution. This suggests lots of fighting in an enviroment without much competion from other species. That suggests a territorial nature.

    7.) The tortoise trade brought settlers and traders to the island of Rodrigues. This resulted in solitaire habitat destruction during conversion to farmland, as well as introduction of invasive species, such as pigs, rats, cats, and, of course, humans. Between habitat loss, competition for food, and being turned into food, the solitaire could not survive.

    8.) The Mare aux Songes swamp on the island of Maritous has been a source of subfossil remains of the dodo, providing much of our knowledge of the animal.

    9.) Some scientists believe that the seeds of the dodo tree needed to pass through the digestive tract of the dodo bird in order to germinate. While a badly designed experiment suggested this might be true, other experiments show the seed will germinate without passing through a bird’s digestive tract. Others suggest that the juvenile tree does not look like the adult version and that there are currently many more specimins on the island than the previously thought 13.

    10.) The dodo, much like the tortoises, is thought to have consumed fruits from the island. The seeds of this fruit were not digestible and were eventually passed. The parrot would then feed on these seeds.

    11.) The first subfossil remains were discovered in 1869. Prior to this, scientists had to rely on descriptions and drawings from the 16th and 17th centuries. These descriptions were not completely accurate and the birds being described were sometimes misidentified as dodos by observers.

    12.) Its the tip of the iceberg because it is only the most well-known example. When humans landed on the island, they set about eliminating nearly every native plant and animal species that was either in their way or slightly tasty. After deforesting the vast majority of the island, most of the native animals no longer had sufficent habitat to survive in, nor food that they could tear away from the rats and pigs. The animals of Mauritius were adapted to live in a closed environment that did not have competition from land-dwelling mammals. As such, when those mammmals were introduced, they were no longer adapted to survive in the “new” environment. Extinction quickly followed.

  61. Karissa Wood says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques.
    2. The raphine was considered to be Reunion ibis because it displayed different plumage and coloring. This is a contested point because they could have been the result of bad taxidermy or artistic license.
    3. The Viti Levu Giant Pigeon is in the same family as the dodo and by studying them might produce clues as to the morphology of the dodos.
    4. There is some variation in the weights of the Dodos and the Rodriques solitaire, which has estimated that they may have been about the same size. Some say that the Rodriques solitaires were heavier birds yet they were equal in wingspan. It is hard to determine this answer because there is very limited knowledge on the two species.
    5. There are no living specimens alive of either bird. This means that all the information on them is taken from taxidermy, artistic renditions, or written accounts. Many of those accounts were written long after the sighting and were not noted with scientific precision.
    6. Territorial habits are often triggered by limited resources. This is true for the Rodriques too. The Dodos had varied sources of food which made it unnecessary to develop territorialism.
    7. The tortoise trade drew humans to the area. The humans then introduced invaders like rats and other disturbances. These invaders decimated the habitat and prayed on the local wildlife leading to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.
    8. The Mare aux Songes was a swamp that held the remains of some Dodos. It led to the discovery of a complete Dodo skeleton. This showed that the Dodos had lived in the vicinity.
    9. There is great controversy over the fact that the extinction of the Dodo has led to the lack of recent generations of the Tambalacoque tree. The tree needs acid scarification for the germination of the seeds. The Dodos would eat the seeds and then after passing through their digestive tracts were able to germinate. While it is agreed that the Dodos were part of this cycle, it is also believe that they were not the only inhabitants on the island to serve this function. The other species that fulfilled this role as well went extinct too.
    10. The extinction of the Broad-billed parrot might have been intertwined with the extinction of the Dodo because they had a mutualistic relationship. The parrot would eat the seed that the Dodos had excreted as their food source. With the disappearance of the Dodos, the parrots died out as well.
    11. The Red Rail was a bird that looked very similar to the Dodo. Many people became confused when they discussed them so this means that the accounts of the dates for extinction may not have been accurate.
    12. Like many islands, invasions have great impacts on the native inhabitants. There are limited resources and no place to move. This means that the extinction of the Dodos was only the beginning of the possible population extinctions.

  62. Steven Fredrickson says:

    1.) Dodos were the first to go extinct.
    2.) Although it was thought to be a different species at first it is now thought that the bird was just born albino.
    3.) The Viti Levu was a very large pigeon and was close to the dodo in size and physiology.
    4.) The Rodriques solitaire
    5.) Because no known specimen exist of either species all that scientists have to go off of are artist’s depictions and writings.
    6.) The solitaire is thought to have been more aggressive because of the location that it was found. The island received less rainfall leading to less available food, being bigger and meaner meant more food and so it was an adventitious trait.
    7.) Trade is what brought people to Rodrigues, they brought rats and cats which attacked the birds as well as the people themselves who hunted the birds for food.
    8.) The majority of the sub fossil remains were excavated from the swamp.
    9.) It was thought that the dodo was responsible for propagating the seeds around the landscape but more recent evidence suggests that the native tortoises and parrots may have been responsible.
    10.) The parrot relied on the dodo and the tortoise to eat and digest palm fruit, excreting the seeds that the parrots fed on.
    11.) Because the terms red rail and dodo are used interchangeably it is hard to tell exactly when or which species disappeared.
    12.) After the dodo went extinct many other endemic species also went extinct because they had never dealt with predators that had now been introduced to the island by humans.

  63. Mac Hutchison says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) People had believed to see white Dodos but fossil evidence suggested that there never were any Dodos in these places.
    3) Viti Levu Giant Pidgeons are similar to the Dodo as far as their structure. Also they both come from an island and help build the case for island gigantism.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire was taller and heavier than the Dodo
    5) The only evidence of these birds appearance comes from artwork from the time and descriptive writings. We are unfortunate in the fact that cameras were not yet invented.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was considered territorial because they were always seen by themselves depite an abundance of them on the island. They also show signs of combat through fractured bones and knobs on their wrists developed to hit other birds. There was less rainfall and seasonal variability so it would be advantageous to develop territorial instincts.
    7) Their extinction occurred simultaneous with the tortoise trade coming from the island. The traders brought with them other animals as well as destroyed the environment while searching for the tortoise
    8) The swamp contained many Dodo fossils suggesting that at one time it was a viable Dodo habitat.
    9) The “Dodo tree” was theorized to have relied on Dodo’s to spread their seeds. They later found that tortoises could accomplish this task, proving that Dodo’s were essential, wrong.
    10) Dodos are thought to have broken and cleaned seeds for the Broad Billed Parrot. Without the Dodo around they had no source of food which they could access.
    11) The Dodo and Red Rail were slightly similar in appearance and their names were used to refer to both of them interchangeably. For this reason it is hard to tell what bird was being referred to in historic writings.
    12) On the island of Mauritius the Dodo bird serves as an iconic symbol to the diversity lost on the island. As the species slowly went extinct they made it harder for other species who relied on them to thrive. Introduction of invasive species along with the loss of their natural diversity caused the environment on the island to change, no longer being habitable to many of the native species of Mauritius.

  64. Lydia Leach says:

    The Dodo Exam
    1) The Dodo was the first to go went extinct, in 1962.
    2) A potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its different white color, expected now to have been albino or the artists rendition was slightly wrong.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was very similar to the Dodo. Both large flightless birds that are thought to have evolved from the same ancestor. The Viti Levu, was just a little smaller than the Dodo.
    4) The Dodo appears to have been larger than the Rodriques, evidenced by the larger skull and beak.
    5) It difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there were no cameras at the time or skeletal remains, all we have are paintings and journal entries.
    6) It appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so because the Dodo does not seem to have as many pectoral muscles that the Rodriques had for fighting. Also the habitat that the Dodo seems to have occupied does not seem to have a lack of resources that they would have had to fight for.
    7) The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because as they traveled they hunted the birds, and their companion animals ate the eggs. As the traders left they also often burned the vegetation in the area, leaving no viable habitat in their wake.
    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to study the Dodo is that it could possibly be the first home to the Dodos as well as the place that much of the specimens were found.
    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” is that the tree may have relied on the Dodo to disperse there seeds for pollination. Due to this mutual relationship when the Dodo went extinct so did the trees. Others think that the Cylindraspis tortoises dispersed more of the seeds.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo is linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the parrot ate the seeds out of the feces left by the dodo and tortoise.
    11) The red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo by the mistaken thought that what the person was seeing was a Dodo, but in fact it was probably a red rail instead.
    12) The extinction of the dodo was only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because main of the other species in the area were connected to the Dodo the ecosystem was changed by their loss. Many could not adapt to survive or were hunted like the Dodo.

  65. Adam McClelland says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct.

    2) During early evaluation of the Ibis, paintings and the understanding of the differences between white dodos and the Ibis were unclear. Many scientists based their descriptions on earlier interpretations and drawings of species. There is also evidence that some work of the correct interpretation of the taxonomy for the species was lost during during a shipwreck and wasn’t revisited until 7 years later. These are the grounds for the mistakes being made in the 1600’s when early biologist were working on classifying the species.

    3) It was also found on Fiji and was flightless. It was similar to the dodo in size and scientists could have used to fossil discovered to compare to dodo’s.

    4) In comparison, the dodo shorter and more robust. It also had a larger head, smaller eyes, and more round features.

    5) There wasn’t much concise data collected on living birds. There was mostly fossil evidence found of the species and there were no representations of the species using taxidermy or complete skeletal exhibits.

    6) The Rodrigues solitaire may have been extremely territorial because it only laid one egg and both sexes took turns incubating it. There is also evidence of combat due to fractures in wing bones and knobs in the wrists. There was no evidence that the Dodo experienced combat on levels that the Rodrigues did. Also, the region that the Dodo’s inhabited received high levels of precipitation and could have provided them with increased resources, demanding less stress on survival needs.

    7) During 1730-1750 the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire occurred at the same time as the tortoise due to human disturbances and invasive species release.

    8) A large amount of fossils have been found at the Mare aux songes swamps which suggests that the area provided habitat requirements for the species. Along with this, no adolescent fossils were found in the area suggesting that breeding grounds were not located at the same area that these fossils were found. The swamps may have been places to forage and find resources for younglings and nest building.

    9) The controversy is over the fact that the Tambalacoque tree and the Dodo populations declined together, yet they still exist but in very few numbers. Scientists suggest that the germination of the tree relied on the Dodo eating the fruit from the tree and then dispersing the seed. However, these trees do still germinate so their life cycle is not dependent on the Dodo for reproduction, but they may have increased their abundance.

    10) It’s hypothesized that the Parrot relied on the droppings of Dodo to eat the seeds that went through their bodies and were cleaned.

    11) Confusion was caused in the 1960s when the word Dodo was used in the same context as the red rail. Along with this, scientists believe that the 17th Century sightings of supposed Dodo birds was actually the red rail.

    12) There were many other extinctions to occur after the Dodo because there was no evidence of large predators forming a strong ecological system. The species on Mauritius are theorized to have been less fit due to less inclination to expand genetically and adapt to changes in the environment and their daily interactions.

  66. Jordan Washington says:

    1) The Dodo
    2) The color of the Réunion ibis differs from that of the dodo (white feathers). Also the discovery of a subfossil of ibis changed the interpretation of older specimens.
    3) It is another example of pigeons evolving into giant birds. They all are believed to be decedents of the crowned pigeon.
    4) The solitaire is described as being larger and more robust. Estimating the small seasonal size of the solitaire was about 21kg compared to 10.2 for data gathered on the dodo.
    5) They is very little evidence to give accurate information on either species. No living specimen, no photographic evidence, and varying accounts of the species. It does not help that the extinction of these birds occurred at a time when science was not a priority.
    6) The solitaire are presumed to be territorial based on skeletal remains. Fractures have been found on the wings indicating that they were used to fight. The conditions on the island were also less variable than the dodo’s which resulted in conflict. The dodo in comparison also lacked a keel on the sternum that the solitaire had.
    7) Turtle traders came to the island and burned vegetation, and introduced predators that effective diminished the dodo’s habitat and increased predatory and competition.
    8) This is where the remains of the first dodo were found as well as the remains of most dodos.
    9) It was originally believed the decline in Tambalacoque was related to the decline in dodos as it was assumed that the dodos propagated the seed for the Tambalacoque. However, further investigation suggest that other species such as tortoises might have been the propagator which also experienced a decline during this time period.
    10) The broad-billed parrot is thought to have feed of the excrement of dodo as well as tortoises. The dodo was capable of breaking down palm fruit which the parrot couldn’t break down and required the dodo to eat.
    11) Red rail and dodo historically were used interchangeable which has created some confusion on what species is actually being referred to
    12) The dodo is the tip of the iceberg because many other species on the island as well as other islands faced similar fates. Island communities can result in unique species diversity due to species evolving for hundreds of thousands of years with minimal predatory pressure and the abundance of resources. As soon humans settle these islands they are hunted, predators are introduced and habitat is lost. Mauritius is only one example of many islands that experienced similar extinction circumstance.

  67. Mariah Sterner says:

    The Dodo Exam

    1) The Dodo was the first taxonomic group to go extinct shortly after their discovery.

    2) The potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) due to phenotypic characteristics such as color and beak shape.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because the species demonstrates many of the same characteristics. For example, the giant pigeon was a flightless bird like the dodo due to the lack of predators.

    4) The Dodo was estimated to stand at about 1 meters tall and weigh about 47 pounds. The Rodriques solitaire males also stood at about 1 meter tall but could weigh up to 62 pounds. Thus, the Rodriques solitare would have been larger but gender and season could have significantly changed each species physical characteristics.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because no complete dodo specimens exist. Therefore, current depictions are based on personal accounts and the reflection of the environment.

    6) Rodriques solitaire may have been more territorial than the dodo because the climate of the Rodriques solitare habitat received less rainfall and resources would have been more limited thereby increasing competition.

    7) The tortoise trade increased human interference in the environment and contributed to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire. Traders destroyed habitat, introduced predators, and hunted the solitaires.

    8) It was suggested the dodo inhabited wooded areas and drier coastal regions this is supported by the presence of the Mare aux Songs swamp. The swamp contains a large portion of the dodo fossil records. It was also close to the sea and had limited resources, which would have contributed to the dodo population’s rapid decline.

    9) Stanley Temple hypothesized “the dodo tree” was dependent on the dodo for reproduction. Temple thought the seeds of the tree had to be digested through the dodo’s digestive tract before the seed would be able to grow. However, other reports suggest the tree’s reproduction was not solely dependent on the dodo and in some cases the seed was able to germinate without the dodo.

    10) The Broad-billed parrot was dependent on other species such as the dodo’s and the Cylindraspis tortoises to partially breakdown the hard seeds of fruit because the parrot’s beak structure could not consume the seeds

    11) Since there are no physically specimens to date, it is possible early accounts of the dodo were actually accounts of the red rail. The red rail has similar physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior patterns as the dodo.

    12) Like many other small and isolated populations there has historically been very little need for change or adaptation. These smaller population will be at an even larger risk as human activities continue to spread and influence the environment. As ecosystems change these species will be forced to adapt to become extinct like the dodo. Furthermore, these changes will affect the function of the ecosystem and its ability to support the inhabitants.

  68. Cody Topping says:

    Dodo exam

    1. The Dodo was the first in its group to go extinct after their discovery.

    2. the bird that was thought to be the third member was just an albino that had lighter colors. The artist that drew the picture made it confusing to follow.

    3. This is due to the birds having very similar traits and also they’re in the same family.

    4. This has to be determined due to if you are measuring weight or also height. The dodo was shorter and much larger than the other, yet this would be difficult to measure also with looking at male and female counterparts.

    5. This is a difficult task due to there not being any species that are still alive today. The only available data is just bones, pictures and writing which are difficult to go off of.

    6. The dodo overall had a lot more food availability letting it be less territorial compared to the solitaire. The solitaire had to compete with its food availability making it become much more territorial.

    7. When traders came, they also brought along with them new species and also diseases and burned the land and took much of the landscape with them when they left. Pigs and cats also ate a lot of the resources and ate the eggs.

    8. The first Skelton was found within the swamp and more were found later. This shows that this habitat was most likely the area that dodos liked to hangout and live at.

    9. The Tambalacowue tree and the dodo were linked due to the fact that remains of dodos belong with the trees as well. This is thought to then be a food source for the dodos with the seeds from the fruit, which would also help the germination process for the tree with going through the bird’s digestive tract. When seeing that dodo deaths increased, so did the trees. Dodos also decreased with the increased amount of domestic animals as well.

    10. These might be linked due to the fact that they eat the seeds that the tortoises eat as well, making it difficult to find when humans have invaded the island and burned the landscape.

    11. Sometime in the 1660s, dodo was seen as being someone that did not understand something very well.

    12. Why this is the tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius? This can be shown with having invasive species enter landscape and cause destruction upon many organisms. Making it difficult to survive and also hard to reproduce. Humans have degraded landscapes and made it difficult for many species.

  69. Briauna Inglis says:

    1) The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2) The third species is more likely to be the Reunion ibis because no dodo-like fossils are found on the island Reunion and the birds have different physical characteristics like being the color white.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because this species is related to crowned pigeons which are closely related to the dodo as well.
    4) The dodo is shorter and more robust and the Rodriques solitaire has longer legs in proportion to the dodo. If you go by weight I think that the dodo is larger although it is hard to tell.
    5) It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of these birds because there are only fossils left of these birds and few as well as vague sighting accounts.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire is thought to be more territorial because the breastbone has a keel and thus is thought to have used its wings in combat. This combat points to the birds being territorial. The dodo, on the other hand, lacks a keel so it did not fight with others more than the Rodriques solitaire did.
    7) The tortoise trade coincided with the disappearance of Rodriques solitaire. This could be because the trades burned key vegetation as well as hunted the Rodriques solitaire.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swap is where a large amount of the subfossil material has been collected in Mauritius.
    9) It was thought that the tree relied on the dodo for the germination of their seeds. However, the seeds of the tree have germinated since the extinction of the dodo and there are still many individuals around.
    10) The dodo, Cylindraspis tortoise, and the broad billed parrot all ate fruits and then excreted the undigested seeds.
    11) The red rail potentially confused the extinction dates for the dodo because 17th century accounts of the dodo might actually be them seeing the red rail. So the dodo might have gone extinct earlier than thought.
    12) The dodo is not the only organism that became extinct on Mauritius. There were many endemic species from Mauritius that have gone extinct.

  70. Hannah Hoffman says:

    Dodo Exam

    1. Out of the Raphinae group, the dodo was the first one to go extinct.

    2. The potential third species is now of the Raphines is now considered to be the Reunion ibis because old traveler accounts and paintings had described it as a large white bird.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology and extinction because both birds shared similar characteristics. Both were rather large due to island gigantism, and both were flightless.

    4. Based upon evidence, from the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire, it has been said that the Rodriques solitaire was bigger than the Dodo.

    5. It is hard to physically describe the appearance of the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire, because neither of the birds have any specimens that exist.

    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was more territorial than the Dodo because the island that dodos lived on had more rain and a more stable climate there was less of a need for the male dodos to engage in territorial disputes.

    7. What the tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire is the impact that humans had. As humans were hunting, and burning down vegetation while hunting for tortoises, the hunters would also kill the solitaires.

    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to the studies of the Dodo, is that this place has been the main place that has found any fossils of the dodo.

    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the dodo tree is that both species were reliant on each other. It was thought the only way the tree reproduced was through the digestive tract of the dodo. So as the dodos died out, it was thought that the tree was also dying out, they has been thoughts that they were coextinct species.

    10. How the diet of dodo relates to the extinction of the broad-billed parrot and the tortoise is because of the nut cleaning process that dodos did. The parrot depended on the dodo to clean the seeds that they ate, and the tortoise.

    11. The red rail confuses extinction dates with the dodo because once the dodo went extinct, it was said that the remaining red rails were then called dodos.

    12. The dodo extinction was only the tip of the iceberg for the extinctions on Mauritius because of how much humans later impacted the island. Humans came in and disturbed the area which led to the extinction of other species and also the introduction of many invasive species.

  71. Carmen Haines says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first

    2. It was originally thought to be a Raphus solitarus because of its coloration, which was white. However, it is now considered to be the Threskiornis solitaire, and the white coloration was thought to be due to albinism, juvenile plumage, artist misrepresentation, or a taxidermy error.

    3. It is believed that these two species are taxonomically related because the two birds have similar anatomical features, such as being large, flightless birds.

    4. It is believed that the Rodiques solitaire was both taller and heavier than the Dodo, and therefore larger in general.

    5. Both species are extinct and no accurate specimen of either species exists. Only taxidermied specimens, sketches, and bones exist. However, taxidermied specimens and sketches are prone to human error, and bones only provide a skeletal morphological picture of what the species looks like, but not their plumage or other features. Therefore, it is difficult to determine what either species truly looks like in their live, natural appearance.

    6. The Rodriques solitaire has knobs on the carpi of its wings, which indicate and adaptation for fighting with others. Dodos do not have these. There is also evidence of wing fractures in the bones that have been recovered for this species, which were likely caused from combat with other members of the species.

    7. The tortoise trade peaked around the time the Rodriques solitaire went extinct. The tortoise trade caused more people to visit the island that this species lived in to find more tortoises for the trade. The influx of people caused the destruction of vegetation used for habitat, increased the hunting of this species, and also introduced cats, rats, and pigs to the ecosystem. The adverse effects caused by the influx of people to the island due to the tortoise trade likely largely contributed to the extinction of this species.

    8. The first fossil remains of the dodo were found in the Mare aux Songes swamp

    9. It was thought that dodos were relied on for the germination of the “dodo tree” (Tamblacoque) seeds, as the seeds germinated after they were consumed and then passed by the dodo. However, it was suggested in recent studies that the Tamblacoque instead relied on tortoises for the germination of seeds, and that the extinction of dodos was not related to the decline in Tamblacoque trees.

    10. The Broad-billed parrot may have relied on both the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoise to consume and digest fruits, which the parrot would then feed on after the seeds were passed.

    11. The red tail and dodo both have similar body physiology, which made it easy to misinterpret sketches and other visual recordings of the two species. This misinterpretation made it easy to confuse the extinction dates of the two species

    12. The extinction of the dodo was linked with the arrival of humans on Mauritius, which coincided with the destruction of their native habitat. Since several other species rely on this habitat, it also poses danger for them, and could eventually lead to their extinction in a similar manner as the dodo. Several other species have already gone extinct on Mauritius for this reason.

  72. Robin Taylor says:

    1. The Dodo!!
    2. Gosh, that one sure does look like either a fake or a misconception based on juvenile plumage.
    3. Since we can’t study Dodo anatomy or physiology today, using the Viti Levu giant pigeon is the next best thing.
    4. The Rodrigues solitaire was taller and weighed more than the Dodo.
    5. As both birds are extinct and were lost prior to photography, drawings, paintings, written descriptions, and fossils are all that remain to help us understand what they looked like.
    6. The Dodo simply didn’t need to be territorial based on its environment, so it never developed this trait.
    7. It was likely unintentional, but tortoise shell traders brought pigs and cats into the Rodrigues habitat, and those introduced critters ate Rodrigues eggs and young, impacting the species severely.
    8. Based on the recovery of Dodo remains from this swamp, biologists know that it once supported large populations of Dodos. It is also thought that this may be the origination of that species, although that cannot be confirmed.
    9. After the extinction of the Dodo, the Tambalacoque also vanished, likely hypothesized because of their relationship; Dodos ate the seeds of this tree, their stomach acid removed the seed coat allowing for germination, and they dispersed the seeds across their habitat. There isn’t quite enough evidence to support this hypothesis, however, and other scientists have refuted these claims, stating instead that other species could have had more responsibility for seed dispersal than the Dodo. This may very well be a case of confusing correlation for causation.
    10. The Broad-billed parrot may have depended on the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise to eat the fruit that contained the seeds it ate, and, without the Dodo, its main source of nutrition would have vanished.
    11. Due to similar appearance, it is possible that the red tail was mistaken for a Dodo in the 17th century.
    12. Island ecosystems are always more vulnerable to external pressures like the influences of humans and the species we often bring with us to these secluded destinations. Native species have neither developed the ability to withstand these types of pressures, nor is there anywhere for them to go to avoid predators or species that overwhelm their habitat. As this continues over many generations of each species, the intricate connections of this ecosystem unravel, and relationships between species change, further sending the island into instability.
    13. There isn’t currently enough viable DNA from Dodo remains for us to resurrect it through any method we have at this point in time. As of today, the Dodo is extinct. If a new method of DNA recovery became available in the future, that might change this, but that’s somewhat unlikely.
    14. Really, I wouldn’t. While the loss of the Dodo is tragic in its own ways, this isn’t a recent occurrence, and the world doesn’t have a place for the Dodo anymore. Habitat needs to be appropriate for the survival of any species, and creating a habitat for the sake or resurrecting something that shouldn’t be here anymore seems a waste of time, money, effort, and resources that could be better spent saving species that are struggling right now. Ultimately, it must be asked whether the Dodo could ever survive with humans around. Would it truly be fair to bring back this species without considering its potential survival into the unforeseen future? Morally and ethically, I’m opposed to “de-extinction,” possibly because Jurassic Park was so pivotal in my childhood. 🙂

  73. Alexandra Kahler says:

    1. The dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire
    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered to be the Reunion ibis due to physical differences. The Reunion ibis was mainly white that they believe could be the result of being a juvenile or bleaching caused by a taxidermist
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is revelent to Dodo biology as its fossils found in Fiji found them to be only slightly smaller than the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire, but still a large flightless pigeon.
    4. Based on the limited evidence the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo.
    5. It was difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there have not been a living specimen for hundreds of years. We must now rely on the drawings done hundreds of years ago that could be inaccurate. The robustness of the Dodo body that is most often displayed in pictures is thought to be from artist depictions from captive specimens that would be fatter than their wild counterparts.
    6. It is believed that the Rod. solitaire was more territorial than the Dodo as it had large bony knobs on their wings that is believed to be used in combat that were absent from the Dodo.
    7. The extinction is correlated with the tortoise trade as migrant traders burnt off vegetation, hunted individuals and introduced predators such as pigs and cats.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is the site where a large amount of subfossil material has been collected.
    9. The “dodo tree” was believed to be dying out with individuals aged around 300 years old which is around the time frame that the dodo became extinct. It is believed that in order for the seeds to germinate that they needed to be passed through the digestive tract of the Dodo. Studies have concluded that the decline in the tree species was more likely to be from other extinct animals.
    10. It is believed that the broad-billed parrot may have depended on the Dodo and the cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which they consumed.
    11. The red rail was called dodo (the german version of the dutch name) interchangeably by many accounts. In 1668 it was suggested that the name “dodo” be transferred to the red rail after the dodo had gone extinct. This made any reference to a dodo after 1662 actually to a red rail. This makes investigating the actual extinction date for the actual dodo very difficult.
    12. The dodo was the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius as the species were isolated to an island that were not able to adapt to the change that came with human settlers. The humans brought with them invasive species that competed for resources, habitat destruction and hunted the unsuspecting animals.

  74. Nicole Beroukas says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct (late 1600s) before the Rodrigues solitaire (late 1700s).

    2) A potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because the original misconception was based on a bird with white coloration. However, this coloration was either a juvenile trait, due to albinism or from bleaching of feathers by the taxidermist.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they are thought to be close relatives and were both similar in size and in physiology.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, it is difficult to tell if the Dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire was larger and depends on what you’re measuring. The Dodo was more robust, but shorter than the solitaire. The solitaire was said to be taller and have longer legs.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the Dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire because of how quickly they went extinct and how little was recorded about them since people were not as knowledgeable about extinction back then. No one has seen a living specimen in hundreds of years and so all info on these birds is based of fossils or old sketches.

    6) The Dodo’s sternum lacked a keel, unlike the Rodrigues solitaire which also used its wings in combat. This suggests that the solitaire was more territorial and fought each other more than the Dodo.

    7) The tortoise trade is responsible for bringing people to the island when they otherwise wouldn’t have. These people would then also hunt the birds, burn the landscape and bring in non-native animals like cats, dogs and rats.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is where most of the Dodo fossils have been found. Not only has it provided scientists with the skeletons to study the anatomy of these birds but it also gives some insight into the biology and life of the Dodo.

    9) An ecologist, Stanley Temple, hypothesized that the dodo tree’s decline was caused by the extinction of the dodo. He thought that tree relied on the dodo for its propagation and that the seeds would only germinate after being passed through the dodo’s digestive tract. However, other studies show that the seeds germinated without the help of the birds’ digestive tract. Other scientists believe that the decline of the tree was exaggerated and that other extinct animals could have been responsible for the tree’s seed dispersal. Dodo trees have germinated despite the absence of dodos which discredits Temple’s hypothesis.

    10) It has been thought that the broad-billed parrot relied on dodos and the Cylindrapis tortoises to eat palm fruits and then expel the seeds in their waste, which the parrots then ate.

    11) The red rail potentially confused the extinction dates for the dodo because sketches of the red rail were confused for that of dodo birds due to physical similarities.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” because it is only one example of extinction caused by people and their destruction of habitat. There are many other unique and important species on Mauritius that could potentially be vulnerable to and face the same issues the dodo did. With this knowledge, conservation efforts can be implemented to prevent more extinctions from happening.

  75. Ryan Bird says:

    1. The dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2. The third species is most likely a Reuinion ibis because of the physical characteristics. The confusion came up most likely because of albinism or bleached taxidermy.
    3. This species, like the dodo, evolved on volcanic islands that were isolated and had no mammalian competitors, making their physiology and other characteristics similar.
    4. Based on limited evidence, the Rodrigues solitaire was larger, although bother were probably sexually dimorphic.
    5. It is difficult to establish an accurate physical description because these animals have been extinct for hundreds of years. Using bone fragments, historical sources, and computer programs is the only way to try to create what these animals looked like.
    6. The dodo had more abundant resources that Rodrigues solitaire, so the nature of the dodo was most likely less territorial because of the absence of competition for resources.
    7. The tortoise trade brought humans to where Rodrigues solitaire existed, which then brought invasive species to their habitat. With the humans trying to obtain turtles in the same areas that Rodrigues solitaire inhabited, it was being outcompeted and having its habitat destroyed.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where most of the dodo fossils were found. From this, information about its habitat and range can be gathered.
    9. It was believed by some that the “dodo tree” could only germinate by being passed through the digestive system of a dodo. This hypothesis was not proven to be true; although it was thought to be dying out, the tree has germinated since the extinction of the dodo, and other species may play a role in the germination of this tree.
    10. It is postulated that the dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise provided forage for the broad billed parrot by consuming items such as seeds and excreting them, which then because food for the parrot.
    11. Some sources refer to the dodo as a red rail and used the names interchangeably. This caused confusion because accounts of seeing dodos may not have actually been dodos. They were also very similar in appearance, perpetuating the confusion.
    12. Humans traveling to a place as isolated as Mauritius and influencing its ecosystems didn’t only affect the dodo; with the introduction of invasive species and habitat destruction, many species declined and went extinct and probably all organisms were affected in some way. It is important to recognize the impact that humans can have on fragile ecosystems that have adapted to a certain way of life. The extinction of the dodo is only the tip of the iceberg because it is only one species of many to have been negatively impacted, and represents a potential trend that can be seen in the world and probably will be seen in the future.

  76. Cassie Berg says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.

    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because no fossils resembling dodo birds were found on Reunion and subfossil ibis were found on the island in the late 20th century.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was similar to the dodo in terms of size and physiology.

    4. The Rodriguez solitaire is thought to have been the larger of the two birds.

    5. It is hard to describe the physical appearance of the birds because we have to rely on sketches and written accounts when trying to imagine what the dodo looked like, since no dodo is alive today and no photos could be taken during that time.

    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was territorial while the Dodo was less so because the Rodriques solitaire had carpal spurs and knobs, meaning that they most likely used their wings to fight.

    7. The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because the hunters burned vegetation, destroying their habitat, and killed any animal that preyed on the tortoise eggs, including the Rodriques solitaire.

    8. Mare aux Songes swamp is where dodo subfossil material has been found, indicating that it was most likely the main area inhabited by Dodos.

    9. The remaining dodo trees are on the verge of extinction and their ages date back to about when the dodo went extinct. It was believed that the dodo tree required Dodos in order to spread the seeds and reproduce. It is now hypothesized that other extinct species, like tortoises, could have been responsible for spreading the seeds, not just the dodos.

    10. The diet of the dodo could be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because it is hypothesized that the seeds from the palm fruits eaten by dodos and tortoises were passed and eaten by the Broad-billed parrot.

    11. The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo because the terms for red rail and dodo were used interchangeably leading to confusion as to which species was being identified.

    12. The extinction of the dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because the species on the island are not prepared to deal with the numerous invasive species introduced. Many of the species are headed for extinction because they are not equipped to handle changes to their habitat. This poses a huge problem because a lot of the species are connected and need each other for survival, so when one species goes it affects many others.

  77. Shaun Weldon says:

    1. The last credible sighting of the Dodo was in 1662, making the Dodo the first of the group to go extinct. The Rodrigues solitare is believed to have gone extinct somewhere around the 1730s.’
    2. The color of the third species was considered to be one of its defining characteristics. It is now believed that the white coloration of the lone specimen was due to bleaching during taxidermy. It is also possible that this specimen was an albino or had juvenile plumage.
    3. The anatomy of the Viti Levu giant pigeon is very similar to that of the Raphinae, so much so that they have now been classified in the same taxonomic family. They also show similar evolutionary history in that they arrived on small volcanic islands with no large predatory mammals and no large competition for resources, resulting in their increase in body size.
    4. Because the evidence is so limited and witness reports vary so much, it is hard to say which species is larger. However, most experts believe that the dodo had a thicker body, but was shorter than the solitaire. Many of the weight estimates for dodos are based on birds held in captivity, which may have misrepresented weight estimates to be a heavier average due to lower activity levels and abundance of food.
    5. Because the extinction of the dodo and the solitaire occurred before cameras were invented, the only evidence that we have for the physical appearance of these two species is what remains in journals, paintings and drawings. Some experts believe that many paintings of species are based on taxidermy specimens rather than live specimens, which introduces more uncertainty based on the taxidermist skill, the condition of the animal at the time of death, and the care that has been taken with the taxidermy since its completion.
    6. The island of Rodrigues does not receive as much rain as the island of Maurities, which results in more scarcity of resources. Experts believe that the scarcity of resources may have led to the territorial behavior of the solitaire, while the dodo did not develop this behavior.
    7. The tortoise trade brought many more people to the island to trap tortoises, which was a lucrative business. As the human population expanded, much of the solitaire’s habitat was destroyed. In addition to clearing and burning of forests, humans also introduced cats and pigs, which killed chicks and ate eggs of the solitaire. Solitaires were also hunted to remove competition for food that existed between the tortoises and the solitaires.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where most of the subfossil of dodo bones have been found. Many experts believe that the high concentration of dodo bones in the swamp is a result of an extreme drought on Mauritius approximately 4,200 years ago.
    9. In the 1970s, Stanley Temple hypothesized that the reported decline in the dodo tree (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) was because the long lived tree needed to be passed through the digestive tract of a dodo in order to germinate. He thought that the endocarp of the seed needed to be abraded by the gizzard of the dodo, and in order to replicate this process tried feeding the fruits to turkeys to see if they could be used as a substitute. His hypothesis and research was later discredited as it was shown that the seeds germinated on their own.
    10. Some experts believe that the dodo and tortoises on Mauritius would eat large hard seeds of many plant species on the island. When thy excreted waste products, the seeds would be cleaned seed fragments that the broad-billed parrot could then eat. Because the parrot was smaller than the dodo or the tortoise, it is believed that those species were required for the parrot to survive.
    11. Many experts believe that many of the later reported sightings of the dodo may have actually been sightings of the red rail. Some even doubt the last sighting of the dodo in 1662 because the meat was described to have a texture more like that of the red rail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo is simply the most well known extinction of Mauritius. The issues that led to the extinction of the dodo, including habitat loss, hunting, and predation from invasive species did not affect the dodo alone. These factors also affected other species on the island, such as the red rail, the broad-billed parrot, and the cylindraspis tortoises.
    13. With the current condition of dodo samples, the viability of DNA for cloning does not exists. Also considering that the last known dodo died over 300 years ago, the chances of finding a better preserved sample that has DNA in a condition that could be used for cloning is very slim. Unless that type of specimen is discovered, yes, I thinkthe dodo is really extinct.
    14. I think that the best chance to resurrect the dodo would be to use the nicobar pigeon as a template for missing sequences of the dodo DNA, and also use the nicobar pigeon as a host for the eggs (size permitting). If the size does not allow this endeavor, then another larger bird such as an emu could be used.
    However, I think that going down this path is a bad idea. Much of the historical habitat of the dodo no longer exists, to say nothing of the ecological interactions with other now extinct organisms from the island. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend all of the time and money to bring back this species that will then have no place to live, and likely fall right back into extinction.

  78. Emily Schmautz says:

    1. Out of the two Raphinae species, the Dodo was the first to go extinct in the 1600s, with the Rodriques Solitaire following a century later.

    2. The third potential species of raphine is likely to be the Reunion Ibis due to the initial confusion surrounding that species. It was originally mistaken to be Reunion solitaire, as well as a white Dodo. Paintings depict it as a white dodo, though no dodos were found to have ever lived in the Reunion Ibis’ original territory. Closer examination of witness descriptions, as well as fossils and other closely related living birds have led to a reconstructed image of the bird, eventually leading scientists to believe it was an entirely different species.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to dodo biology studies because it was another extinct flightless bird that was very similar to the dodo and Rodreques Solitare in those features, as well as size. Studying these species allows for a greater understanding of similar ones. It was discovered that these large flightless birds were able to grow to their size due to an absence of large predators. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is also related to crowned pigeons, which are also related to the extinct dodo.

    4. Due to sexual dimorphism, as well as changing body weights in different seasons, the dodo appears to have been the larger bird. However, non-captive dodos weighed less, and as a result, the solitaires were the larger species in the wild.

    5. It’s difficult to give an accurate description of the dodo or Rodriques Solitaire due to the fact that both species have been extinct for hundreds of years. More often than not, we look back to paintings and first hand accounts describing the animals. However, people’s descriptions of the same animals can vary greatly, as well as what the artist chooses to paint on their canvas. Descriptions of the birds were also not the most detailed or in depth at the time, as no one was thinking that their accounts may be used years later to help remember an extinct bird. At the time these species went extinct, taxidermy and preservation of deceased animals is far worse than it is now, allowing these few specimens to degrade rapidly over time.

    6. The Rodriques solitaire was a species that had body weights that changed in accordance to the seasons. Remains have also been discovered with fractures on the bones, suggesting that the birds would fight over resources, as well as the territories that had the best resources. Part of what caused the extinction of this bird was the clearing of the forests, their home territory. Dodos appeared to be less territorial, as they were unafraid of humans and as a result, less aggressive towards a new species invading their territory.

    7. The tortoise trade during that time period accounted for much of the damage caused to the islands, as well as the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire. Because of the popularity of this commodity, settlers who tried to establish a settlement for trade purposes ended up hunting, clearing vegetation, and introducing possible invasive species, such as cats and pigs. These new species also hunted the Rodriques solitaire. This bird lost its habitat, and its population was being rapidly decimated by cats and humans.

    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp has been crucial to modern research about the dodo, as many subfossil remains have been found there. This suggests that the dodo preferred the habitat that existed at that location during that time. Another theory is that the swamp may have been similar to the La Brea Tar Pits where large amounts of animals became trapped and died in this location while trying to reach a different location. Finding these remains helped to inspire and keep interest in ongoing research of the species, including a better understanding of the anatomy and biological functions.

    9. The controversy behind the ‘dodo tree’ is that this tree is going extinct because it relied on the existence of the dodo to help germinate and spread its seeds. It was argued that the seeds could only be germinated after passing through the dodo’s digestive system. The tree would now become extinct as a direct result of the dodo’s extinction. However, others argue that the dodo was not solely responsible for the tree’s decline, as the seeds could have been germinated by other species from that ecosystem which have also gone extinct.

    10. The dodo’s foresting ecology is linked to other extinct species, such as the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises. While the dodo and broad-billed parrot consumed fruits and excreted the seeds, the tortoises depended on these seeds for their survival. The extinction of the dodo could have led to the extinction of these other species as well.

    11. The red rail may have confused the precise extinction date for the dodo since it was mistaken as the dodo in early depictions. Even after the dodo was extinct, there were still people referring to the red rail as the dodo, or would use the names interchangeably, despite the species difference. Because of this, the extinction dates of the dodo are still under debate, and may never be known as a result of mistaking one species for another for such an extended time period.

    12. The dodo is likely the “tip of the iceberg,” as its extinction was incredibly easy to prevent, yet became extinct in about a century of its discovery. Despite dying out hundreds of years ago, there are still other living species on Mauritius that are at risk of going extinct, some related to the dodo. Like the dodo, these other birds are not noticed that their populations are declining until it becomes so severe it may be too late. Some groups may try to establish a captive population in an effort to save these species, but captivity often lacks the genetic and environmental diversity that these birds needed to survive.

  79. Jaimi Lambert says:

    1-The Dodo

    2-This was based on the white coloration in paintings later to be thought either albino, a juvenile, or bleached taxidermy.

    3-They are similar in size, flightless and are thought to be related.

    4-Rodriques solitaire?

    5-There is not adequate remains and they went extinct in a time when humans were not as scientifically aware as we are now to record observations and collect samples for research.

    6-There were differences in wing make-up (large bony knobs) that led scientists to believe that the Rodrigues solitaire used them for fighting that the Dodo did not have.

    7-It was the same period of their disappearance due to traders destroying habitat, hunting and importing cats and pigs that ate eggs and chicks.

    8- This is where most of the subfossil samples are collected from– a good site for research in habitats of the Dodo.

    9-A disagreement on whether the seeds require the Dodo for germination or if it is other factors that are causing its decline (and other species can also disperse the seed).

    10-The Dodo would eat the fruit and pass the seed which was then eaten by the Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises.

    11-The red tail was often also called a dodo and some say accounts of dodo sightings may have actually been red tail.

    12-The Dodo is only one of many endemic species that evolved on that island. These species evolved with little/no completion and no human involvement. With the introduction of predators, other exotic species and human development (and greed), these species are not well suited to deal with the new habitat created with competition and destruction.

    13- Yes. Unless we can find adequate samples to extract and sequence their genome, they are and will continue to ‘really’ be extinct.

    14-Assemble a complete genome of the dodo from any/all current specimens. Compare with the nicobar pigeon to identify the sequences unique to the dodo. Create dodo stem cells by swapping the unique sequences for the dodo with the corresponding sequences in the nicobar pigeon. These are then converted into germ cells and inserted into eggs. I’m not sure what eggs as the sizing doesn’t match up. I’m also not sure I would agree with doing this unless there was suitable habitat to place them in that didn’t force any extant species into struggle for survival. My inner child would love to see dodo birds again. My father gave me a huge stuffed dodo bird when I was a toddler that become my most beloved stufftie for many years. I forever loved the idea of the dodo bird because of my childhood ‘friend’. It still have it .

  80. Kayla. W says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It was thought that the dodos were killed off first, although there isn’t a distinct date, they are thought to become extinct at the end of the 17th century. The Rodriques solitaire was later estimated to become extinct in the mid 1700’s.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    This third species of raphine is considered erroneous because it was a mix up of an early description of a bird that had dodo-like qualities, however was completely white which was not mentioned. Later on, naturalists thought that it referred to a third species of dodo. They later discovered fossils of the ibis on Reunion island which fit the old descriptions of the Rodriques solitaire, additionally they have not found any fossils of dodos on the island.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo biology and evolution because there is no longer useable DNA from the fossils of the dodo or the rodriques solitaire to trace their lineage.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The evidence suggests that the dodo was larger in size than the Rodriques solitaire, measuring approximately 1meter to 90cm (male specimen).
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of the Raphinae group because of limited fossils and exaggerated journaling of the species. The fossils that they have found are only partials; they had found a large group that was likely killed by a flood, having their bottom halves preserved however the top was exposed to scavenging and the elements for degradation.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    It appears that the dodo’s were less territorial than the Rodriques solitaire because the fossils of the rodriques solitaire had different morphology; knobs on their wings for combat, and stronger pectoral muscles. Scientists also suggest that since the island did not have the same ideal conditions as the dodo where resources were constantly available, competition would be more prominent. Additionally the fossils had fractures on the bones indicating impact/ combat.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoises were considered essential maintaining the islands forests ecology, and the slaughter/ trade of the tortoises, in addition to the burning/slashing of the island vegetation, provided an unsuitable habitat for the dodos.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp provides a preservation of parts of the dodos among other organisms, as well as one complete set of a dodo in the natural position. This helped to not only get an accurate scale and bone structure of the dodo, but also give a better idea of what the external physical appearance of the dodos were, and wade through the early descriptions of dodos.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    There is a debate over whether the extinct dodo bird aided in the reproduction of the Tambalacoque, or whether their decline is due to the invasive species eating young trees. Temple argued that when the dodos ate the seeds of the fruit that fell of the trees, then the trees germinated and flourished. However, the tree species has survived for centuries without the dodo, and the recent increase in invasive species seems to be the more likely demise of the tree.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It was believed that since the dodos provided the main route of dispersion of seeds and fruits of the islands vegetation, that the extinction of the dodo lead to less dispersion of the natural fauna which created unsuitable habitat for the broad-billed parrot and the tortoises.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The use of dodo was used loosely in old journals, describing both the red rail and the dodo. Since the name dodo was used interchangeably, there were sightings of the red tail which became extinct after the dodo, but was recorded as dodo. This caused for the extinction of dodos to be later than actually happened.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is a clear cut example of how humans arrived to a new area, hunted a species, re-arrange the entire composition of the area, and introduced completely foreign organisms into an optimal environment. This is literally what has happened to the entire earth and is only getting worse. What is meant by the tip of the iceberg is that the dodo is just one of the species (even though there were even multiple in the assignment) that was affected from the manipulations of humans, in a contained area. The fact that we are repeating history and constantly taking down ecosystems, introducing new species, and killing what we want is setting our planet up for the extinction of thousands of species, not just one. Just because the earth is large, doesn’t mean the impact is any less devastating.

  81. Marissa VanRy says:

    Marissa VanRy
    Conservation Biology Week 13
    4/20/15

    1. Which Raphinae went extinct first- the Dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first, in 1693. Then the Rodrigues solitaire went extinct in the 1750’s.

    2. Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The third species of raphine is considered to likely be the Reunion ibis because old traveller’s accounts incorrectly classified the Reunion Ibis because of its white coloring. Descriptions of the Reunion Ibis were based on paintings of white dodo’s, where inconsistencies between the paintings of the two species were brushed away. Fossils of the birds were not found until 1974, where they were found to be relatives of ibises. No fossils of dodo-like birds were ever found on Reunion. Descriptions of the Raphus solitarius and Reunion ibis are now known to be matching.

    3. Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution?
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo because it was also thought to have been related to the crowned pigeons. The species evolved similarly, only slightly smaller than the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire, on the island of Fiji.

    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger- the Dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire?
    The larger bird is most likely the Rodrigues solitaire by weight, as they weighed up to 62 lbs, and the dodo weighted around 51 when it was fattened up in captivity.

    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe the physical appearance of either bird because there are no complete dodo specimens, and observers did not attempt to record, observe or preserve the species as they were not aware of the science behind extinction as we are today. Also, the depictions of dodos were normally those of captive individuals which were fatter than wild ones. Descriptions must rely on paintings and written observations which probably lack accuracy, and fossils which do not provide information on feathers, coloration or skin texture.

    6. Why does it appear that the Rodrigues solitaire was highly terrirorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodrigues solitaire were thought to be highly territorial because there is evidence on their wings that they were used in combat. This includes a robust keel bone, fractures in their wing bones, and knobs on their wrists for combat. The dodo birds had weak pectoral muscles, and lacked a robust keel boneand lived in areas with a larger availability of resources, allowing for less reasons to engage in territorial disputes.

    7. Why does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire?
    The tortoise trade coincided with the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire because it brought more humans to the island that Rodrigues solitaire and tortoises shared. Humans consequently invaded their habitats, removed vegetation, hunted the birds, and introduced non-native species that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8. What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The Mare aux Songes swamp is the location where most of the subfossil materials from the dodo that exist today were collected. It would have been the preferred habitat of the Dodo because it is in the woods in the drier-coastal areas of south and west Mauritius. Studying this area has also revealed the vegetation that the habitat was dominated by, which could have been food sources for the Dodo.

    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and the “dodo tree”- the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The tambalacoque is a long-lived tree that is valued for its timber. The trees germinated only through passing through the digestive tracts of the dodo birds, which fed on the fruits of the trees. The other species that distributed the seeds were also extinct from human involvement, such as tortoises and broad-billed parrots on Mauritius.

    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct broad-billed parrot and the Cylindrapsis tortoises?
    The ecology of the dodo is linked to the extinct Cylindrapsis tortoises because both species distributed and germinated seeds of the tambalacoque tree and dispersed palm fruits, which were both a food source for the broad-billed parrots. The three species were interconnected because the dodo and tortoise diets provided food sources for the parrot, while increasing the propagation of their own food source as well.

    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail is another extinct flightless bird native to Mauritius, and until subfossil remains were analyzed in 1869, its depictions were only in 17th century paintings. The confused dates of the extinction of the dodo could have been a result of the misidentification of the dodo as the red rail. It is possible that all 17th century accounts of the dodo were actually red rails because the dodo could have been extinct at that point.

    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The Dodo is considered the tip of the iceberg because many other species went extinct for the same or similar reasons on the Mauritius islands, and all around the world. Human involvement such as hunting, habitat degradation, and the introduction of non-native species caused species such as the broad-billed parrot, the red rail, the Rodrigues solitaire, and the Cylindrapsis tortoise to become extinct from hunting and the introduction of dogs, cats, pigs and rats on Mauritius. Humans did not have a scientific understanding of the potential to cause a species to become extinct and the cascades of ecological effects they could have by altering natural environments. The extinction of the Dodo was one of the first examples of the impact that humans could have on wildlife, and serves as an example of the destructive aspects of the anthropocene.

  82. Dexter Wikstrom says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first

    2) A potential third species of raphine is far likelier to be the Reunion ibis due to its similar features as well as colouration.

    3) Both the Viti Levu giant pigeon and the dodo are in the same family and shared many familial physical traits in their anatomy.

    4) Judging off of weight the Rodriques solitaire is heavier than the Dodo, on wing size and length they are about even. The solitaire is also taller than the dodo, based on most of this information the solitaire seems bigger.

    5) Its difficult to say because both birds went extinct so very long ago, over hundred years ago we had no cameras or any way to show appearance. The only way we have to look at appearance is drawings made ages ago, and even then the color might have changed or the artist might not have had the correct colors.

    6) The habitat that the dodo lived in had an abundant amount of resources compared to the solitaire, so it doesn’t seem that the dodo needed to compete for its resources while the solitaire in its habitat must have.

    7) The trading of the tortoise had a delayed effect to the solitaire extinction, as the traders came in they introduced a variety of invasive species that ate the young of these birds and destroyed their habitat.

    8) This location is where one of the first skeletons were found and thought to be the originating area of the bird in suitable habitat.

    9) The controversy surrounding the dodo tree is that there have been many skeletons that have been found in proximity of this tree. There is thought that the dodos are required to eat the seeds of this dying tree in order for it to continue to grow, without these birds this ancient tree can’t reproduce.

    10) The theory between the Broad-billed parrot and the dodo is that that their diets were somehow connected. The dodo would eat the fruit then it would pass through their system just enough for the parrot to eat the undigested seeds.

    11) The red rail had similar anatomy to that of the dodo so many of the people who saw these birds might have confused them with the dodo and mixed up which species was which.

    12) Its only the tip of the iceberg or so they say because on the same island similar species are decreasing in population size as time goes on. This continues to progress because rarely have species of animals been forced to adapt after their norm. Also when one species goes extinct is has a chain reaction on other species that lived in its environment.

    • ryan lemery says:

      1) Dodo, because it went extinct before 1700 and the Rodrigues Solitaire late 1700.
      2) Because the dodo was never proven to inhabit reunion, and the reunion ibis has different traits and doesn’t fall into the pigeon family as it was misinterpreted by travellers.
      3) Because the ancestors of the dodo diverged around the Paleogene –neogene boundary. And also because the giant pigeon was just slightly smaller then the Dodo and was an island bird as well.
      4) The Dodo could weigh upwards of 22 lbs while the Rodrigues Solitaire could weight from 37-62 lbs making them the bigger of the two.
      5) Because there isn’t any complete specimens making plumage and feathering and colors hard to determine.
      6) Because observations suggested so and fractures in there wings may show that they used these them to fight.
      7) Because turtle traders burnt off vegetation and imported domestic animals that preyed upon the solitaire, as sell as ate the eggs and outcompeted with the native specie.
      8) Because it has been suggested that the Dodo inhabited areas close to the ocean and this view supported the fact that the Mare Aux Songes swamp is close to the sea in southeastern Mauriatius.
      9) Because it is said that the Dodo bird ate the drupe from the Dodo tree and only when the seed passed through the bird could the seeds then be germinated. Attempts using turkeys have failed.
      10) Yamashita suggested that the tortoises dodos and the broad billed parrot who were all ground dwellers performed the same dietary function of eating cleaned seeds which had been passed through mega fauna and later introduced domestic animals.
      11) It is believed that many of the last accounts of the Dodo were in fact of the red rail. This causes confusion of extinction dates because the Dodo may have already been extinct and people mistakenly confused the red rail for the Dodo.
      12) Because they were just one of many species that went extinct due to human influence. Many other flightless bird species as well as trees went extinct it wasn’t merely just the Dodo that was lost.

  83. Lauren Beckley says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo bird went extinct before the Rodrique Species
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    They were considered to the third species of the Dodo due to them having similar physical characteristics to the Dodo species, with the exception of the white coloration.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu Pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology because they are also a large flightless bird, which is slightly smaller than the dodo bird, found in Fiji. The fossil that was found in 1998 allow scientists to use this “recent” fossil to gain a greater insight to the biology of the Dodo, who’s fossils are around 300 years older.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    From this section it can be concluded that Rodriques was larger than the Dodo bird. This can be assumed based off the comparision of the two birds where it was stated that the Dodo was “more robust and shorter than the solitaire” and “The dodo’s neck and legs were proportionally shorter”.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The natural appearance is difficult to establish due to no natural specimen existing. All known features of the birds have to be based off of drawings and descriptions from people who encountered the birds.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques are more territorial than the Dodo bird due to differences in resource availability. The difference in seasonal variation between the two different habitats affects the resource availability and the island that the dodo bird occupied had less strain for resources, hence why they weren’t as territorial as the solitatrie.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitarie correlates with the time of the tortoise trade when hunters would come in and burn the vegetation of the island or release pigs and cats to capture or locate the tortoises. These released animals would often be found preying on the solitaires chicks and eggs which further aided in their extinction.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    It was here in this swamp that 17 dodo specimens were found in their natural position.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    “the dodo tree” controversy surrounds the supposedly dependence upon the dodo bird as a germinator for the tree. It was stated that animal aided in the germination and seedling spread of the tree by passing the seed of the tree through its digestive tract. Hence since the bird went extinct as did the tree. However many have argued against this and stated that the decline of the tree was “exaggerated” and that other animals aided in seed germination.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The activities of the dodo bird affected the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindrapis tortoise through the parrot potentially being dependent on dodos excreting palm fruit seeds for sustenance.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The confusion regarding the extinction dates for the dodo came from the name “red tail” being used for the dodo.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The dodo extinction was only the tip of the iceberg for this island because there were many other rare species that inhabit this island that have gone extinct or have their populations declining due to human disturbances such as loss of habitat or the introduction of invasive species.

  84. Hannah Johnson says:

    1) Dodos were the first to go extinct.

    2) The third species was misidentified due to its coloring. Now that fossils have been found it has been properly classified.

    3) The Viti Levu shares a common ancestor with the Dodo and developed similar traits to the Dodo.

    4) The Rodrigues solitaire was likely larger as it was taller and weighed more than the Dodo.

    5) The only physical records of the birds is the fossils and drawings. The fossils are not complete which makes getting a complete layout of the birds difficult. And the drawings are not a reliable source as most are of captive birds and the coloring/plumage may not be accurate.

    6) The Dodo lived in an area with abundant resources and did not have to fight for resources. The Rodrigues solitaire has evidence of fighting in the fossils and came from a more competitive area.

    7) The tortoise trade brought people into the habitat of the Rodrigues solitaire where they removed native species, added invasive species, and destroyed habitat.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is the site of many dodo fossile finds. It is also believed to be an area where dodos would have preferred to live and may hold clues to how the dodos lived.

    9) The dodo bird was one of a few species that would eat the seed of the dodo tree and allow it to germinate. With all the species extinct there is no way for the dodo tree to reseed itself.

    10) The dodos and the tortoises would eat palm fruits that would provide more trees and sources of food for the parrot and themselves. The three species would continue making new trees and consuming the fruits in a cycle.

    11) The red rail is another extinct flightless bird from the same area as the dodo. Some depictions of the dodo are thought to actually be red rails which causes confusion on the dates of extinction for each species.

    12) The dodo is just the tip of the iceberg to a larger problem. Many species have gone or are going extinct due to human involvement and the dodo was just one early example.

  85. Katelyn says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2) A potential third species of raphine is now considered to be more likely the Reunuin ibis because of no species remains more closely resemble that of ibis, the confusion came from a lighter plumage coloration.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution, because it is thought to be closely related to the dodo with similar size and physiology.
    4) Based on limited evidence, Rodriques solitaire is believed to have been larger than the Dodo. The Dodo though being more robust, is thought to be shorter than Rodriques.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire, because there are very few descriptions and those that exist do not well describe the birds. There are also very few drawings that were made from viewing the birds, most were made based on pictures of the birds.
    6) Rodriques solitaire lived on Rodriques Island which received a lesser amount of rain than Mauritius as well as a less stable climate, this would have caused males to be more territorial. Rodriques solitaire skeletons have also been found to have many fractures in the wing bones and had large wings than the Dodo. Dodos although have been found with wing fractures, had weak pectoral muscles.
    7) The tortoise trade is related to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire in that the hunters of tortoises became bored eating only vegetation and began to hunt solitaire, as well as releasing cats and hogs onto the island, which preyed on solitaire’s nests.
    8) Mare aux Songes swamp is significant to the studies of the Dodo, because that is the place where most partial specimens (subfossils) have been retrieved from.
    9) The controversy regarding the Dodo and Tambalacoque, was that is was thought that Tambalacoque was going extinct because it relied solely on the Dodo to pass its seeds through the digestive tract there for allowing the seed to be propagated. However it was later found that Tambalacoque could reproduce without the Dodo.
    10) The Dodo’s foraging ecology or diet may have been linked to the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises, because they may have been reliant on the Dodo’s to eat palm fruits and pass the seeds that could then be used as food.
    11) The red rail can potentially confuse extinction dates for the Dodo, because they look rather similar, when red rails were found sketches of the Dodo were misinterpreted as red rails.
    12) The extinction of the Dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius, because other species populations are depleting. These species are facing needing to rapidly evolve, something they have not been required to do in the past.

  86. Jenna Patague says:

    1)The Dodo was the first Raphinae to go extinct.
    2) The Reunion ibis was a potential third species of raphine because an image depicted the species as a white solitaire of Reunion. It was claimed that the light coloration was a juvenile trait, which relates to the bleaching of old taxidermy specimens or an artistic license.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because researchers found it to be related to the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire. This species, however, was slightly smaller than the two species.
    4) It seems the Rodriques solitaire may have been a bit larger than the Dodo. Yet based on evidence, it is hard to truly distinguish, which species is larger. The Rodriques solitaire is taller and weighs more than the Dodo. But, the Dodo is robust and a bit smaller than the Rodriques solitaire.
    5) Since these species are extinct, humans now have a hard time physically describing their natural appearance. There are fossils but those only give an idea of the texture and structure of their body. The closest one can get to physically describing their appearance is from past artwork of the two species.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire appears to be highly territorial due to their fractured wing bones, which associated to their combat. The behavior of the dodo has little evidence to conclude any aggression. However, evidence demonstrates the dodo had no reason to develop an aggression based of their habitat conditions compared to the Rodriques solitaire. Due to seasonal variation, the Rodriques solitaire had a reason to fight for its resources.
    7) The tortoise trade occurred within the habitats of the Rodriques solitaire. The traders would burn the habitats and introduce new species as well. Some of these species were pigs and cats, whom preyed upon the eggs of the Rodriques solitaire. Surely after, the population of the Rodriques solitaire decreased.
    8) The Mare aux Songes is significant to the studies of the Dodo because it marked the true habitat of the Dodo. The first Dodo skeleton was found there and many more later were discovered.
    9) The Tambalacoque existed for about 300 years and went extinct the same time the Dodo went extinct. It has been said that the only way it can reproduce is if the Dodo species eat the seed and goes through their digestive tract. After going through the digestive tract, the Tambalacoque can germinate. Researchers have a difficult time proving this correlation though.
    10) The foraging ecology and diet of the dodo is linked to the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises. The broad-billed parrot was solely dependent on the diets of the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises, such as palm fruits and seeds.
    11) The red rail potentially confuses the extinction dates for the dodo by the misinterpretation of the past drawing since the two species have similar anatomies.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because there is not one solid species to compare with due to the fact the dodo has gone extinct. This exemplifies how other species have low population sizes because they are not able to adapt to the environmental changes after the dodo had gone extinct.

  87. Alli Cramer says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo (Raphinae cucullatus) went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now
    considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    The third species is considered to be the Reunion ibis because the accounts of white dodos on the island are unreliable. Sailors had called the bird a dodo based on white dodo drawings that had surfaced in Europe, but there is no evidence that a Raphus genus bird was ever present. The Reunion ibis fits the description, so Occam’s razor narrows it down to a misidentification of the ibis.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and
    evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    Since the Viti Levu is an extint species of flightless giant pigeon, its evolutionary history may be similar to those in the Raphinae genus. By studying the pigeon’s biology, insights into the dodo’s may be gleaned.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Based on analyses of the skeletons of the Dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire, it appears that the solitaire was taller but the dodo was “more robust”. The dodo had a thicker skill and a stockier legs, so it may have had a larger mass than the solitaire, but as there are no specimens of the dodo’s body besides skeletons, it is difficult to know.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there are no specimens, only drawings and written accounts. These accounts vary greatly, but the similarities that exist may lead to the kernel of truth as to the actual appearance.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?

    It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial because of the written accounts, consistent wounds on skeletons, and unique knob features on their wrists which seem to be present in a small population of males – probably those that were able to hold territory, which is consistent with other similar phenomenon throughout the animal kingdom. Additionally the climate on the solitaire’s island is dry, so the limited resources would favor the development of a territorial lifestyle.
    The dodo on the other hand was not described as territorial and the skeletons do not have the similar fractures and knobs. The climate on the dodo’s island is also wetter, so there are more abundant resources so competition would have been less intense.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire coensides with the tortoise trade – when hunting for tortoises habitat was often destroyed, and solitaires were taken for food. Additionally, due to the intensity of the tortoise trade the number of humans visiting the island increased, increasing the impact they had on the habitat.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    The Mare aux Songes swamp is the probably habitat of the Dodo based on historical accounts and subfossil evidence. Numerous subfossil skeletons of dodos have been unearthed from the swamp, along with flora and fauna that cohabited the location with the dodo. This allows people to reconstruct the habits and life of the dodo.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    The controversy centers on the role of the dodo in germinating the seeds of the dodo tree. Some have posited that the tree’s population is declining because of a lack of its central pollinizers, whereas others do not see the tree population in decline, and state that the decrease in numbers, and the role of the dodo in their propagation, has been exaggerated or flat out made up.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    Some posit that both the parrot and the tortoises relied on the dodo to access seeds and resources, much as macaws rely on megafauna in South America. In theory, dodo could eat the palm fruits and excrete the seeds, which the parrots and tortoises may have then consumed. This connection is hypothesized because of the immediate extinction of these species soon after that of the dodo.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The red rail was another flightless bird that is now extinct. Drawings of this bird were often confused with drawings of dodos, so it is unclear when exactly one went extinct vs. the other.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    The extinction of the dodo is only one of many extinctions that occurred on Mauritus after the arrival of humans. Due to hunting and habitat destruction species after species became extinct and it stands as a dire warning of the unintended consequences of humanities immense impact on habitats.

    Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?

    Sadly, yes. The dodo is extinct. Not only are there not any dodo’s running around in captivity, but there isn’t enough extant dodo DNA to being to “bring back” the bird to recreate the dodo. Additionally, since a viable population is much larger than a few individuals, even the resurrection of a few dodo’s wouldn’t “unextinct” it.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?

    No matter what is attempted, the dodo as it was couldn’t be resurrected. Efforts at creating an approximate dodo using the small available DNA and a proxy species would not create a Dodo, but a dodo-like facsimile. The dodo, its habits and genetic adaptations, could not be recreated from a cloning project. That being said, it would be exciting to see what at facsimile dodo looked like, so I would propose to use the extant DNA and place it into a Victoria Crowned pigeon egg. Birds are great this way because their embryos are easy to manipulate and add DVA too (see search Qucks and Duails if you are curious). This resulting animal would have an appearance very similar to a dodo’s but would maintain many of the epigenetic similarities to a modern pigeon.

  88. Daniel Duncan says:

    1. Dodos were the first to go extinct.

    2. The first specimen had a white coloration and was thought to be a third species of raphine. But that was because it was either a juvenile or had feathers bleached by the taxidermist.

    3. The giant pigeon is also thought to be related to the crowned pigeon.

    4. The Rodreques solitare showed to be larger due to average mass and height (being taller) compared to the Dodo.

    5. Both species have been extinct for hundreds of years, so the information we currently rely on is based on sketches and accounts that could be inaccurate.

    6. Rodriques received less seasonal variation and less rainfall therefore there were less resources which caused the birds to evolve highly territorial behavior to defend their resources.

    7. The Rodriques solitaire became extinct during the time of the tortoise trade. This is because hunters burnt off veggitation and hunted Rodriques solitaire and other animals that ate the eggs and chicks.

    8. The swamp is the locations of most the skeletal remains of the Dodo bird and have best help construct full skeletons for further study and research.

    9. Tambalacoque might have relied on the dispersion of dodos because the dodo would eat the seeds released from the plant then excrete it across the landscape, thus when the dodo went extinct the same fate followed for Tambalacoque.

    10. The Broad-billed parrot ate palm seeds after the palm fruit had been eaten by dodo’s or tortoises.

    11. The first subfossil remains were discovered in 1869. Prior to this, scientists had to rely on descriptions and drawings from the 16th and 17th centuries. These descriptions were not completely accurate and the birds being described were sometimes misidentified as dodos by observers.

    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because main of the other species in the area were connected to the Dodo the ecosystem was changed by their loss. Many could not adapt to survive or were hunted like the Dodo.

  89. Michael Sly says:

    1) The Dodo went first.

    2) This could be due to the age of the third specimen resulting in the underdeveloped feathers. The taxidermist/artist may have altered the third specimen to be white or it was an albino.

    3) These two birds share similar features and come from the same genetic lineage.

    4) Rodriques solitaire was taller and heavier.

    5) It is extremely difficult to physically describe these birds because no one alive today has ever seen one. All descriptions of these birds come in the form of written descriptions or painted descriptions that were both subjective to writer or artist.

    6) Solitaire used its wings for territorial disputes over limited resources in its environment. Whereas, the dodo had small wings not used for fighting and had plentiful resources.

    7) This trade had a primary role in the extinction of Rodriques solitaire because of habitat destruction, active hunting and the realease of species like dogs and rats into this environment.

    8) The Mare Aux Songes Swamp is a location in which modern scientist found dodo remains that were and are used in modern studies.

    9) Some scientist argue that the Dodo bird was responsible for the dispersal and regeneration of this species of tree. Whereas, some scientist believe that that was not the primary regeneration path of this tree species and that dodo may have eaten other fruits and even crabs.

    10) The Broad billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises are believed to have consumed the excrement of the dodo bird that could digest more hardy fruits and nuts and that these two species could not until after the entail digestion by the dodo.

    11) The red rail and the dodo were once used to described the dodo interchangeably and therefore, may have caused some confusion over if they were two different species and when they stopped using one name and used the other resulting in a confused “extinction”.

    12) This is because island biodiversity is extremely subject to change with change in species presence or absence. The release of many non-native species (rats and dogs) will cause a ripple effect throughout the islands biodiversity that evolved without the presence of introduced species, including humans.

  90. Ashley Jahns says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodrigues solitaire.

    2) The ibis birds, which are white and black with slender beaks, better fit the descriptions of the Reunion solitaire. The “white Dodo” bird that appeared in paintings was thought to be an albino individual, a juvenile, a bleached taxidermy specimen, or simply a fictional, artistic rendition.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon was described in 2001 using subfossil material from Fiji. Although it is slightly smaller than the Dodo, it is relevant to scientific studies pertaining to the Dodo because it was another large, flightless pigeon that shared similarities with the Dodo.

    4) The Rodrigues solitaire was thought to be taller and heavier than the Dodo, although the Dodo was more robust and had a larger skull and beak.

    5) Since scientists lack complete specimens of the extinct birds, it is extremely difficult to accurately describe the physical appearance.

    6) The Dodo lacked a keeled sternum, unlike the Rodrigues solitaire. The keeled sternum of the Rodrigues solitaire was linked to the fact that these birds used their wings in combat. Since the Dodo lacks a keel, it is suggested that the Dodo was less aggressive and territorial than the Rodrigues solitaire.

    7) The extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. During this time, traders burned habitat, hunted solitaires, and released cats and pigs that heavily preyed on chicks and eggs. These factors associated with the tortoise trade likely contributed to the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire.

    8) The majority of Dodo subfossil material collected from Mauritius was collected from the Mare aux Songes swamp. This area also coincides with the habitat type that scientists believe the Dodo preferred, which was the dryer coastal forests in the southern and western portions of the island. Scientists believe many animals, including the Dodo, may have been mired in the swamp as they attempted to seek water during a drought period. This theory may explain the heavy concentration of fossils found at this locality.

    9) In 1973, it was thought that the “Dodo tree” was dying out, and that the last remaining individuals were 300 years old, which dates them back to when the Dodo was extant. It was hypothesized that the seeds of this tree could not germinate unless they were ingested and passed through the digestive tract of the Dodo. However, this hypothesis has been discredited.

    10) It was suggested that the Broad-billed parrot foraged on seeds and may have relied on the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises to consume fruits and excrete the seeds. The parrot would then feed on the excreted seeds.

    11) In a historical account describing the red rail in the 1670s, the red rail was referred to by the name given to the Dodo. Experts have suggested that the name “Dodo” was transferred to the red rail after the Dodo had already gone extinct; therefore all of the post 1662 references of the “Dodo” are thought to describe the red rail instead.

    12) Due to invasive species, development, and fragmentation on Mauritius, extinctions of many species are imminent without immediate conservation and restoration efforts. The case of the extremely rapid extinction of the Dodo is simply one example of the devastating effects that destruction can have on species. Since Mauritius is an island, native species are exceptionally likely to face extinction due to isolation and limited available habitat.

    13) The Dodo is extinct because there are no living individuals left on earth; however there is still DNA material from Dodos.

    14) A resurrection of the Dodo could potentially be possible by cloning genetic material that can be extracted from existing Dodo remains, although this seems far-fetched!

  91. Jake Frazier says:

    1. The dodos went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2. The third species of raphine is now considered more likely to be the Reunion ibis because the representative that they were basing their assumptions offs either had discoloration due to being a juvenile or albino. It also may have been cause by a poor taxidermy job.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to dodo studies because the birds come from the same families and have similar characteristics.
    4. Based off limited evidence the dodo was known to be shorter than the Rodriques solitaire but judging by weight is very difficult and the two were very evenly matched.
    5. It’s difficult to describe the physical appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because they have been gone for so long there are no photographs of them. We must go off old descriptions and fossils that were found.
    6. It appeared that the Rodriques solitaire was more territorial than the dodo due to the fact that they had more competition for food resources than the dodos so they had to be territorial to fend off more species.
    7. The tortoise trade was involved with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire by destroying their habitat. Tortoise hunter would burn area’s to push the tortoises out and in doing so was reducing the Rodrique’s habitat until there wasn’t enough left for them to survive.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant to dodo studies because numerous skeletons were found here showing insight where the birds liked to live.
    9. The controversy between the dodo and the “dodo tree” the Tambalacoque is that the tree’s seeds are needed to be digested through the stomach of a dodo bird to allow them to germinate. This is thought to be because the last of the trees are 300 years old which is the same time period of the dodoes went extinct.
    10. The diet of the dodo is linked to the extinction of Broad-billed parrot and Cylindraspis tortoise because the parrots relied on them to eat the palm fruit seeds that the other two had already digested.
    11. The red rail may confuse extinction dates with the dodo by misleading sketches done by people who got confused between the two birds due to their similar bodies.
    12. Dodos are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extinction of Mauritius because these species have been undisturbed for so long they haven’t had to adapt to changes so when invasive species begin to appear along with the extinction of other native species it will cause a cascading affect through the entire ecosystem.

  92. Nicole Waters says:

    1. The Dodo was extinct by late 1600’s where the Rodriques solitaire was extinct by the late 1700.
    2. Raphus solitaries was considered to be the third species because of its flightlessness and coloration but the lack of fossil record actually connecting it to the Dodo concludes that the third species is more likely be the Reunion ibis
    3. Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant in Dodo studies because they were thought to be related to the crowned pigeon.
    4. Rodrigues solitaire had longer neck and legs compared to the Dodo.
    5. It is difficult to describe the appearance of the Dodo and Rodrigues solitaire because there is no complete skeleton, or only one complete skeleton and that relied on the bones of other bird species. The 3D scanning has helped uncover the bones in the legs of dodos but because they went extinct rather shortly and no one thought to preserve any bones due to religious thinking little can be said about our flightless friends.
    6. Because Rodrigues solitaire was thought to use their wings for combat, dodos less so. Dodos don’t have keeled sternum so Rodrigues solitaire have stronger pectoral muscles for that and used them to fight each other. In the animal kingdom males typically fight for two reasons; females and resources. Territory is a resource.
    7. The habitat destruction that occurred through the process of hunting tortoises effected the Rodrigues solitaire, also many introduced species hunted or out competed the Rodrigues solitaire
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where the majority of the dodo bones were found
    9. Dr. Temple suggested that the dodo ate tambalacoque and they were germinated after they left the digestive track of the dodo. He used wild turkeys to test the theory, of the 17 fed, 7 were crushed in gizzard and the remaining 10 were regurgitated or passed through the feces. He planted the 10 and 3 germinated. The controversy lies where Temple failed to elaborate on the relationships surrounding the tree, the turkey and the dodo.
    10. The Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises are victims of island gigantism where due to the lack of mammalian predators species grow large. When humans came they brought with them introduced species and they hunted or out completed the Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises to extinction.
    11. The Red rail was linked to the dodo due to similarities but they went extinct before the Dodo which some confuse with the Dodo’s extinction
    12. The dodo extinction was one of many species to go extinct in the Mauritius and was one of the first to represent the island isolation.

  93. Chloe Burt says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The potential third species was an albino with juvenile plumage that was a lighter colour due to bleaching. The misconception could be due to the result of taxidermy or artistic license.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Historical lineage says that these species are taxonomically related. They also are similar anatomically.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The solitaire was taller and heavier than the dodo.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe them because they became extinct so quickly after human presence. The only things we have that describe them are sketches, paintings, bones, and taxidermy exhibits.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo had fewer resource restrictions therefore they did not have to be as territorial as the Rodriques solitaire.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade. The trade reduced the solitaires habitat. The traders burned the vegetation and introduced new predators.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first Dodo skeleton was found there as well as many others. This suggests that this location is suitable habitat for the Dodo.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    There is controversy if the Dodo effects the reproduction of the Tambalacoque tree. The Tambalacoque tree is dying and the oldest one is when the Dodo bird went extinct. Some believe the Dodo had the stomach acid to break the seed dormancy of the Tambalacoque tree.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which is food for the parrot.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail is anatomically similar to the Dodo which caused confusion when the drawing of the red rail were discovered.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Other species population size are reducing on the island. For thousands of years the animals and plants rarely had to adapt, which could be why their population sizes are reducing.

  94. Danessa Townsend says:

    1. The Dodo (1693) went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire (1778)
    2. The Reunion ibis was reported on the island with dodos in the 18th and 19th centuries and assumed to be the “white” relatives of the dodo. Classification was based mainly on observation and was named Raphus solitarius. In the 20th century a subfossile was examined and lead to the bird being classified with the ibis as Threskiornis solitaires.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo because they were only slightly smaller than the dodo and are thought to also have been related to the crowned pigeons.
    4. Analysis shows that the dodo’s average size was 23-47 lbs, and the solitaire’s was males: 62lbs, females: 37lbs. Solitaires exhibited extreme sexual dimorphism and the sizes are assumed to be male and female but may be opposite. Overall the solitaire is larger.
    5. No actual specimens exist and documentation was very poorly kept when these species were alive. This makes current assumptions about these species more speculative than definitive.
    6. There is no evidence that the dodo used its wings in combat like the solitaire. The dodo also has poorly developed pectoral muscles and reduced wings. The stable climate of Mauritius made fo good habitat requiring little territoriality from dodo’s. The solitaire used knobs on its wrists and wings in combat. They were highly territorial due to variation in rainfall requiring that solitaires fight for quality territories.
    7. The disappearance of the Rodriques solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade from 1730-1750 when traders burned vegetation, hunted the solitaires, and released predators such as cats and pigs that preyed on the solitaires.
    8. That is where most of the subfossil material has been discovered on the island of Mauritius. The swamp was once a lake that dodo’s likely frequented and/or used as its main freshwater source. It is thought that many species were mired in the muck while trying to reach freshwater during a huge drought period.
    9. It was thought that the dodo ate the seeds from the Tabalacoque tree. Passage of the seeds allowed for the tree to germinate but further studies have shown that the seeds can germinate without abrading.
    10. The broad billed parrot depended on the dodo and tortoises to eat fruits and excrete the seeds.
    11. The red rail was called the dodo, dod-aers or red hen. These terms were all used interchangeably. The last reference of the red hen was in 1693. The confusion is was the last sighting in 1693 of a red hen, or was it of the dodo? The dodo could possibly have been extinct before then.
    12. They could have been a keystone species. The disappearance of the dodo could have started a cascade of environmental effects and changing of trophic cascades making the dodo’s extinction o=only the tip of the iceberg.

  95. Daniel Molina says:

    1. The first Raphinae to go extinct was the Dodo.
    2. The potential third species of raphine now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis was due to the white coloration. This coloration was likely due to albinism, being bleached by a taxidermist, artist misrepresentation, or from the natural coloration of juveniles.
    3. The giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology because the dodo belongs to the pigeon/dove family, Columbidae, and its believed that the two species are related because of the fact that they are both large, flightless pigeons with similar anatomy.
    4. Based upon limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo in neck, legs, and robustness.
    5. It is difficult to describe the appearance of the Dodo or the Rodriques Solitaire because no specimens exist. Only bone records exist and there is very limited, if any, useful DNA that can be found from bones.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques Solitaire was territorial because it had developed knobs on its”wrists” which could be used for fighting. The intention of the fighting was most likely for resources; the Dodo did not have to fight.
    7. The tortoise trade caused an excess of burning and invasive species introduction to the Rodriques habitat and extra hunting also declined their population numbers.
    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songs swamp to the studies was that it contained a historical fossil account of many species including Dodos which could be interpreted to understanding landscape, climate, and biodiversity changes in assessing human impacts on the island.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the dodo tree is that the Dodo used to feed on the fruit of the tree and the process of passing through its digestive tract helped the seed germinate. Once the Dodos disappeared, the numbers of the regenerating trees also declined, almost to extinction.
    10. The diet of the Dodo was important to that of the Broad-billed parrot and similar to that of the Cylindraspis tortoises because they ate the fruit and passed the seeds that the parrot feeds on. Without passing the seeds, the parrot’s beak structure could not eat them.
    11. The red rail could potentially confuse the extinction dates for dodos because it has similar physical characteristics which could have led to a “cascade of error accumulation” by artist’s renditions of the dodo or red rail as the other.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the “tip of the iceberg” for Mauritian extinction because it pointed out how human impact has affected some native species. Using the studies done at Mare aux Songs, we have identified some of our impacts on the behavior of many species and their habitats. The dodo had no predators and was free to roam the land until humans came and introduced disease, alien species, hunting, burning, and exploitation. The dodo may not be the first and it definitely is not going to be the last species affected by our invasion to all lands.

  96. grady hansen says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitare.
    2) The potential third species of raphine is now considered to be more likely the Reunionibis because of the white coloration either present while the birds were juveniles or as part of a common misconception in plumage coloration.
    3) The Giant Pigeon is related to the studies because they both seemed to lose the ability to fly around the same time and for the same reasons, a lack of herbaceous mammals. The Viti Levu was just slightly smaller than the Dodo and they both seemed to move to their respective islands around 35 million years ago.
    4) The dodo seemed to be the larger of the two birds with a larger skull and beak with a more robust appearance. The dodo had shorter legs and seemed to be shorter than the Rodrigues solitaire.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe either of the birds because of the time they went extinct. Not much went into preserving the birds and only artistic depictions exist today with very few intact specimens.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire seemed to be territorial because of its anatomy. The Rodriques had stronger pectoral muscles for its wings which would be useless unless they were used for defending territory with its wings. The dodo seemed to be much faster and have a larger beak that they could defend themselves with if needed, but resources on this island probably didn’t force dodos into much competition.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire coincided with the migration of the Dutch into these islands in search of tortoises and land to which they introduced cats, rats, pigs, and all sorts of mammals that preyed upon their eggs. The explorers also burned areas of land that exposed dodos and increased competition.
    8) This is a site where many dodo fossils are preserved and have been escavated throughout the years. It is also important in the study of extinct turtle species.
    9) The decline of the dodo tree was hypothesized to due to the extinction of the dodos. They believed that seeds needed to be digested by the dodo in order for the trees to germinate. However it may be important for bird species to disperse the seeds it was found they were not needed for the trees to germinate.
    10) When humans came to the island the dodo was not the only species that was affected. The broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises were also affected by human interaction. The dodo could have cracked seeds that the tortoises needed and the broad billed parrot may have needed the dodo to do some of the heavy cracking they may not have been able to do themselves.
    11) The red rail confused settlers into thinking it was the dodo. Instead the red rail and dodo were two separate species that were confused as the same species. This makes it hard to determine when the dodo actually went extinct due to possibly false reports of its survival.
    12) It is only the tip of the iceberg because species on Mauritius are still in danger of extinction. If we continue to wait until species are threatened genetic diversity will already be too small to rebound populations. We must take preemptive action to save species before they slip to a point of no return.

  97. Natesha Hutchison says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The Raphus solitaries was incorrectly assumed to be a relative of the dodo because it was described by travelers as a white bird that had difficulty flying. Later on it was suggested that the white coloring could be due to albinism, juvenile plumage, or taxidermy.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is similar to the dodo in that both birds have similar characteristics like the relatively large size and they are both flightless. They could share a common ancestor, which makes the giant pigeon a valuable tool to study dodo evolution.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Based on the limited amount of evidence, the Rodriques solitaire seems to be bigger than the dodo.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is hard to describe the physical appearance of the dodo and the solitaire because they have both been extinct for a while and we therefore only have descriptions from artists/travelers (not scientists) and the reconstruction of fossils to paint the picture.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The solitaire was more territorial due to a lack of food on the island, while the dodo’s island of Mauritius was not as limited on food resources.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade is what brought humans, rats, dogs, and cats to the island, which eventually led to the extinction of the solitaire

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Many dodo fossils have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, making this a significant location for dodo studies

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The decline in the tambalacoque was thought to be due the extinction of dodos, which digested and disbursed the tree seeds.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The parrot possibly relied on the tortoises and the dodo to consume and excrete the seeds that it fed on.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The dodo and the red rail have been used interchangeably which can be a source of confusion about which species was being referred to.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    When humans came to the isolated island, they brought invasive species and caused irreparable changes to the ecosystem. The extinction of dodos was just the “tip of the iceberg” of human caused effects on the island.

  98. Michael Thomas says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct by 1693, but Rodrigues solitaire was also driven to extinction by the late 1700s.
    2) The age of the bird was an issue and it’s coloring after being processed caused a misidentification.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon, aka Fijian dodo, is a member of this ‘Caloenas group’ of pigeons. The inflated extensor processes of Goura and Natunaornis look like ‘prototype’ versions of the enormous ones present in Pezophaps, which suggests that these taxa shared with Natunaornis the use of their wings in combative behavior.
    4) A taller, but somewhat similar-looking bird, the Rodrigues solitaire was larger than the Dodo.
    5) The lack of known complete skeleton from both species.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial due to the increase level of competition within its ecosystem, dodo had few competition pressures and fewer restrictions (they lived without fear of attack).
    7) Tortoise trade fragmented the habitat, introduced invasive species that increased competition for resources. The invasive species introduced, included man, used the species as a food source.
    8) The dodo remains collected from Mare aux Songes swamp provides incredible insight in the habitat. Swamps are read as a timeline, bones preserve at a particular level are lying next to pollen supplies with other species that shared the dodo’s habitat. Work at the Mare aux Songes swamp has shown that its habitat was dominated by tambalacoque and Pandanus trees and endemic palms (Wikipedia, 2015).
    9) In 1973, the tambalacoque, also known as the dodo tree, was thought to be dying out on Mauritus, to which it is endemic. Stanley Temple hypothesized that it depended on the dodo for its propagation, and that the Sideroxylon grandiflorum fruit, which is analogous to the peach, seeds would germinate only after passing through the bird’s digestive tract. He claimed that the tambalacoque was now nearly coextinct because of the disappearance of the dodo (the seeds had no growth rings) (Wikipedia, 2015).
    10) The suggested idea was that the decline of the tambalacoque or Sideroxylon grandiflorum was exaggerated, or seeds were also distributed by other extinct animals such as Cylindraspis tortoises, fruit bats or the broad-billed parrot. It has been suggested that the broad-billed parrot may have depended on dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots. Dodo megafauna was destroyed by fire or grazing pressure.
    11) The dodo was sometimes considered rather unpalatable, but the red rail was a very popular gamebird for the Dutch and French settlers. Milne-Edwards suggested that early travelers may have confused young dodos with red rails.
    12) Known extinctions are only the tip of the iceberg: many species will vanished before they have been discovered. 90% of the forest is gone thus 50% of the species have gone extinct.

    Trying to answer the Advanced Short- Essay Questions for Graduate Students:

    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Dodo distinct anatomical homologies are preserved in many modern bird species. For example like the link between American Bald eagles and Tyrannosaurus rex. Evolution produce a new form of life from a less well-adapted predecessor (Rossatto and Allen, 2006). So no dodo’s didn’t “really” go extinct.

    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    A newly discovered skeleton has provided valuable DNA samples of the Dodo. (source: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/extinct-animals/dodo.htm) A living relative would then be genetically engineered after DNA decoding was complete. The possibility proposed for dodo is to remove DNA from a Nicobar pigeon egg and fuse it with the cell of a dodo. But the cloned embryo would still have to be implanted into a living creature that can carry it to term (or until the egg is laid, in the case of the pigeon).

    Ravilious, Kate. “Dodo Skeleton Found on Island, May Yield Extinct Bird’s DNA.” National Geographic News. July 3, 2007. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070703-dodo.html

    Mayell, Hillary. “Extinct Dodo Related to Pigeons, DNA Shows.” National Geographic News. Feb. 28, 2002. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0227_0228_dodo.html

    “Alice in Wonderland dodos.” The Dodo Blog. June 17, 2006. http://dodo.bibi.org/alice-in-wonderland-dodos/

  99. Aleks Prosken says:

    1) The Dodo appears to have gone extinct first.

    2) The potential third species is considered to be a combination of a misidentification of the Reunion Ibis, and a potentially juvenile specimen that was either an albino individual, or had bleached plumage and was the inspiration for 17th century paintings.

    3) Taxonomic study indicates these species are related in their evolutionary history.

    4) The evidence suggests that the Dodo may have been taller, but both species exhibited a wide weight range, and the Solitaire in particular appears to have exhibited a great diversity in size between the genders.

    5) It is difficult to describe the physical characteristics of either species as both have been extinct for a long period of time, predating much of the interest in species description and classification. Skeletal remains, paintings and descriptive journal entries are all that remain to describe either species of bird.

    6) The Dodo possessed weak pectoral muscles, and lived in a much more stable and wet climate than the Solitaire. In addition, while evidence of healed fractures is commonly found in the wings of the Solitaire, and the behavior of buffeting each other with their wings to settle a dispute was recorded in observation, neither is noted or apparent in the records of the Dodo.

    7) When humans arrived to harvest tortoises, they burnt off the vegetation which likely provided habitats for either the Solitaire or its food sources. Humans also brought with them domesticated species such as cats and pigs which further damaged the life cycle of the Solitaire through predation and further destruction of their food sources and (likely) breeding, feeding, and roosting areas.

    8) This region has a very high concentration of Dodo remains.

    9) It was initially thought that the rarity of this tree was caused by the extinction of the Dodo; that the tree required the Dodo to eat the fruits and have the seeds pass through the digestive tract in order to germinate. It has since been shown that the seeds can germinate without first being eaten, and the consideration that the tree required the Dodo specifically would be difficult to determine – the tree’s rarity could be exacerbated by the combined extinction of multiple species. And, the rarity of the tree itself has been contested as well.

    10) It is thought that the broad-billed parrot required the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise to consume the palm fruits native to their island in order for the excreted seeds to become an available food source for the parrot.

    11) The common name of the Dodo appears to have been transferred to the red rail after the Dodo became rare or even after the Dodo became extinct.

    12) The extinction of the Dodo was the ‘tip of the iceburg’ because it is the most widely known species from this island, and stands as an example of what happens to species that inhabit an island, and have evolved over time without mammalian predators when humans arrive and begin to change the landscape and release the multitude of species that accompany them.

  100. Holly Larson says:

    Holly Larson — WEEK 13
    1. Between the Rodriques solitaire and the Dodo, of the Raphinae group, the Dodo went extinct first, in 1693; whereas the Rodriques solitaire went extinct in the 1700s.
    2. The third species is instead a Reunion Ibis because it was falsely assumed to be a relative of the dodo bird because of their white color and near flightlessness. However, there was no fossil evidence where the dodo occurred. Evidence was found much later indicating that the bird was instead a Reunion Ibis.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the evolution and biology of the Dodo because they are both thought to be relatives of the crowned pigeon. Also, they are both believed to be victims of island biogeography and the consequences that follow.
    4. The species that is thought to be larger, the Dodo or the Reunion Ibis, is the Reunion Ibis. They had longer necks and legs than the Dodo birds, and the males could reach up to 62 pounds.
    5. It is difficult to pinpoint what the exact natural appearance of the Dodo and/or the Rodriguez Solitaire because there are few accounts of what they look like. Drawings provided people with examples of what they look like; however, the accuracy is not one hundred percent.
    6. It appears as though the Rodriques Solitaire was more territorial than the Dodo because they had knobs on their wrists used for defense. Its behavior was also often seen as territorial. The Dodo, on the other hand, had\ a hooked beak that it would use in defense. Also, the Rodriques was less isolated than the Dodo, leading one to believe that it had to be more territorial in defense of threats from other species.
    7. Hunters that were after tortoises during the tortoise trade would burn the vegetation in their habitat in the pursuit of the species. They also introduced animals that at the chicks of the Rodriguez Solitaire, such as dogs, cats, monkeys, and pigs.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant in the study of Dodos because this is where hundreds of sub-fossils and bones of the bird have been found.
    9. Dr. Stanley Temple attempted to demonstrate the relationship between and coexistence between the Dodo bird and the Tambalacoque, or Dodo Tree. He believed that the tree did not developmentally require the digestion of its seeds by the Dodo to germinate. However, his findings had controversy surrounding them because he did not try to demonstrate the possibility of this relationship with his studied species, the turkey.
    10. The foraging ecology or diet of the Dodo is potentially linked to the extinct species, the Broad-Billed Parrot and Cylinraspis Tortoise. The latter two species were also well suited to eating nuts and fruit and distributing the seeds of plants, similar to the Dodo. All three species were ultimately driven to extinction by the arrival of humans and their radical effects on the ecosystems that follow.
    11. The Red Rail was most likely incorrectly identified as Dodos. The Red Rail went extinct before the Dodo, and because of their similarities as well, the extinction dates for the Dodo could then be confused.
    12. The Dodo bird was considered the “tip of the ice berg” because it was just one of many extinctions on Mascerene Island that followed that of the Dodos’. It was also one of the first extinctions that occurred as a result of island biogeography and isolation.
    13. A species is technically extinct if there are no living members. I believe that the Dodo bird is undoubtedly extinct. This, however, does not mean that it could come out of extinction if there is possibility of reconstructing the species from genetic material gathered from fossils, bones, etc.
    14. I would use remaining evidence and DNA found in the evidence to reconstruct the Dodo. However, it would not be an exact Dodo as it was as a native to the land.

  101. Adam Chinn says:

    1. The first raphinae to go extinct was the Dodo.
    2. The potential third species of raphine that is now considered to more like the reunion ibis is due to the fact of the physical features like color in this case a white color or albino.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo biology and evolution because of it has similar taxonomic characteristics. Due to the similarities ecologists can possibly understand how the dodo’s anatomy works better.
    4. Based on the limited evidence the largest bird may have been the dodo although it was known to be shorter and fatter but with both birds being extinct it is hard to understand for sure which species is actually larger.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearances of the dodo or the rodriques solitaire because neither species exists today this makes it difficult to know for sure. The closest ecologists can get it through artwork, descriptions, and writings that are very vague.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial compared to the dodo because Mauritus received more rain fall and in addition had a more suitable climate. This leads to increases of resources and less reasons to use combat methods. Rodrigues was less suitable for larger populations and created more competition.
    7. The tortoise trade is related to the extinction of the rodriques solitaire because the traders burned most of the vegetation and hunted the rodriques solitaires. In addition the traders introduced cats and pigs which impacted the survivability.
    8. The significance of the study of Mare aux Songes swamp in relation to the dodo is that the first fossil remains of the dodo were found in the Eastern Mauritius. This indicated the dodo’s original habitat.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the “the dodo tree” is that the dodo helped spread the Tambalacoque which would indicate a serious decline, but then further development showed that it was most likely spread by the extinct parrot and tortoises. The tree may not be declining at all actually.
    10. The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo could be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because all of these species foraged on the ground. The parrot pre-digested the seeds for them so with the extinction of the parrot the food resource declined.
    11. The red rail potentially confused extinction dates for the dodo because in the 1660’s the term “Dodo” was interchangeable for the red rail. They had similar descriptions which caused a lot of confusion.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the proverbial (tip of the iceberg) for the extinction on Mauritius because change or adaption levels where very low creating a stable ecosystem, but when something changed like the extinction of a species no other species knew how to adapt.
    13. Yes, the dodo is extinct with the soft tissue remains being rare and in poor condition the odds of recovering DNA is relatively low. Possibly in the future when technology has become more advanced there is a chance to bring the species back into existence but as of now I would say yes it is extinct.
    14. Resurrecting the dodo would be hard but if the DNA could be scavenged and kept I would try and duplicate and clone the DNA. Then I would attempt to inject the DNA into a similar bird species that could reproduce a type of hybrid bird. Then after a large enough population was created I would reintroduce it to Mauritius after restoring a majority of the original habitat located in the area.

  102. Amanda Moody says:

    1) The infamous dodo went extinct first in the late 1600s. The rodriques went extinct in the 1700s.
    2) It was assumed to be a part of the raphine because of its coloration, but the mix up can be due to bad taxonomical work or a poor artist’s rendition of the bird.
    3) Studying the flightless giant pigeon can help to further our knowledge of the extinct dodo physiology because of their taxonomical relation and similar build.
    4) Both species reached very large sizes because of island gigantism from the lack of predators and competition. However, it is suspected that the dodo was more robust or thick set and the rodriques had a more erect posture making probably making it taller.
    5) Like with many long gone extinct species, it can be difficult to accurately and confidentially describe the appearance of these birds without multiple complete specimens. The best we can do is use current evidence and environmental conditions to create the best possible image of their appearance.
    6) It would appear the rodriques was more territorial because of archeological evidence of fighting on old bones and the climate of their home range would produce more competition for resources (due to lower precipitation).
    7) Habitat destruction for turtle hunting in combination with the introduction of invasive species that out competed or hunted them exacerbated and brought their extinction.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp contains much evidence of dodo remains, suggesting that dodos preferred this habitat for some reason. Or perhaps this swamp was more conducive to fossil preservation then other habitats that dodos may have resided in.
    9) It was theorized that the “dodo tree” relied on the dodo to spread its seed through consumption and secretion through its digestive track. However, there were other species that could have a relation to the trees germination that also went extinct (such as the turtle).
    10) Parrots could have relied on dodos and the tortoises to to consume the palm fruits and thus leaving only the seeds in their waste which could then be eaten by the parrot.
    11) Due to their similarities, the red rail and the dodo were often confused as one or the other.
    12) With the small area of an island any action or effects of human disturbances and invasive species is magnified and weeps across the island quickly. This leaves little time for the indigenous organisms to react and adapt.

  103. Hannah Karvonen says:

    1) The dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2) The reason the third species was considered to be similar was the different coloration.
    3) The Vitti Levu pigeon is said to be closely related to the dodo bird. They are flightless and very similar in size.
    4) The dodo is smaller but a bit more robust.
    5) There is very little data about the dodo, because not enough was collected before they went extinct. No complete specimen remain either, only fragment.
    6) Rodrigues solitair was more territorial and willing to fight. They have physical trains, like spurs, that show they were much more able to fight. Dodo’s do not have traits similar to these.
    7) The trade made it easier for the solitaire to be discovered. With this, the animal was destroyed due to over hunting.
    8) A lot of dodo fossils have been found in and around the swamp.
    9) The tree was starting to decrease in population when dodos went extinct. Without the birds, their seeds were not dispersed as well, people thought. This was found not to be completely true however
    10) They would eat and excrete the seeds after digestion, giving a food source to the parrot.
    11) The two went extinct around the same time, and descriptions of the two animals were rather similar.
    12) The areas that the dodos lived, have a very uniqueenvironment. Thus it’s hard for new species to adapt and live in the area.

  104. Hanaa Gusti says:

    • The Dodo became extinct first.
    • The potential third species was actually just an albino, a juvenile or a misinterpretation of art.
    • The giant pigeon is relevant because it was closely related to the dodos; it was just slightly smaller and was thought to be related to the crowned pigeons.
    • According to evidence the Rodriques solitarie was larger.
    • There is lack of evidence for their external appearance, only art work which may be an incorrect interpretation.
    • There is evidence of fractures in wing bones to suggest that they were used in combat, while there is evidence that dodo had weak pectoral muscles and more reduced wings compared to the solitaire.
    • Its disappearance coincided with the tortoise trade, when traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaries and released cats and pigs that pray on eggs and chicks.
    • That is where most of the subfossil material has been collected. Also the fact that no juvenile dodos have been found in the swamp indicates that they produced little offspring, matured rapidly and that the breeding grounds were far from the swamp.
    • The tree was dying out because the dodos were, they were becoming coextinct. It was thought by some the trees seeds would only germinate once passed through the dodos digestive system while others disagree with that.
    • It has been suggested that the broad billed parrot may have depended on the doo and the tortoise to eat palm fruit and excrete their sees, which became food for parrots.
    • They looked very similar ad people often used the name “Dodo” or “Dodaers” when referring to the red rail.
    • Dodos were the tip of iceberg because the island was isolated and once there was an increase in human populations they brought new species, caused habitat destruction. This all happened so quickly the Dodos and many other native species didn’t have the time to adapt to all the changes.

  105. Alexandra Davis says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.

    2. The Reunion ibis was originally thought to be a species of raphine because accounts of travellers described the bird on the Reunion Island as a white relative of the dodo bird. However, no such bird was ever found on the island, so scientists realized that the assumptions made based off of historical accounts might be incorrect. When scientists discovered a fossil of ibis on the island, they decided that the reported Raphus solitarius must actually be an ibis species.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon and the dodo bird are most likely taxonomically related.

    4. The Dodo was shorter, but more robust than the Rodriques solitaire. The Dodo’s skull and beak were larger than Rodriques solitaire, but its legs and neck were shorter. The Dodo was estimated to weigh up to 51 pounds, and the Rodriques solitaire was estimated to weigh up to 62 pounds, so while these two species were similar in weight, the maximum weight of Rodriques solitaire appears to be slightly heavier than that of the Dodo.

    5. There are very few fossilized skeletons to rely on as a description for the appearance of other species. No living birds of either species have been around for centuries, and during the time that they were alive, humans generally did not pay great attention to conservation, so there is not a lot of scientific documentation about the appearance of these animals. Scientists have to describe the appearance of these animals from sketches and artwork, which may not be reliable, or which may be misleading.

    6. The island which the Dodo was from, Mauritius, received more rain and had a more stable climate than the island of Rodriques, where the Rodriques solitaire was from, so the Dodo may have had to compete less for food. This lack of a necessity for competition may have meant that the Dodo did not have to be as territorial and aggressive as the Rodriques solitaire.

    7. Tortoise traders travelled to the island of Rodriques and introduced cats and pigs to the island, which were predators and competitors, respectively. The tortoise traders also burned vegetation (Rodriques solitaire’s habitat), hunted the bird, and preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8. Mare aux Songes swamp on the island of Mauritius is the location from which most of the subfossil material of the Dodo has been collected.

    9. The controversy is that the “dodo tree” was thought to require that the fruit was eaten by the dodo in order for the seed to be able to germinate, but we don’t know for sure if that is true. This hypothesis that the tree required the dodo would explain why the only living trees in the wild were about 300 years old. However, some reports have claimed that the seed from the “dodo tree” can germinate without passing through the dodo’s digestive system. Also, some researchers suggest that tortoises could also disperse the seeds and allow them to germinate.

    10. All three of these species are able to eat and digest very hard seeds that cannot be digested by other animals, and all three may have foraged the droppings of other animals, looking for undigested seeds.

    11. Since the red tail was also a large, flightless bird from Mauritius, so sightings and sketches of what people thought was the dodo might actually be of the red rail. This means that we are possibly mistaken about when the last sighting of the Dodo actually occurred.

    12. Other animal and plant species on Mauritius are either extinct or declining in numbers. While the Dodo is the most famous of these extinctions, it is not the only one. Human-caused extinctions and population reductions on Mauritius are not limited to the Dodo. Also, one species on the island can be impacted by the extinction of another (one possible example of this is the “dodo tree”).

  106. Austin Bogard says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)? This was due to a misconception caused by a specimen that was abnormal. The specimen was potentially an albino, had juvenile plumage, and may have been bleached during taxidermy.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    They are taxonomically similar to the Dodo bird and therefore can help give hints to how it evolved.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire may have been larger. Remains suggest that it was slightly taller than the Dodo bird.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? No complete specimens exist of either bird. The only thing left to help describe the external features are observer comments from the time.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    The ecology of the islands differed. Where there was plentiful rain most of the time on Mauritius, Rodrigues had a less stable climate possibly leading to more territorial disputes. The bones of both birds suggest that the Dodo did not use its wings for fighting but that the Rodrigues solitaire could.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire? During the increase in Tortoise trade, humans burned vegetation, hunted the bird and its eggs, and released cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This is where the majority of existing Dodo remains were found, suggesting that the bird may have originated there.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)? A scientist by the name of Stanley Temple hypothesized that the only way for Tambalacoque seeds to germinate was to pass through the digestive tract of a Dodo, so their extinctions coincided with one another.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises? The Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise served a similar function by eating and spreading the seeds of megafauna on the island, where the Broad-billed parrot could then eat the “clean” seeds.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Island species are sensitive to change, because they are so highly adapted to a specific ecosystem. When humans changed that ecosystem so suddenly it sucker punched the native species and caused many of them to die off. The Dodo went extinct only one-hundred years after humans arrived.

  107. Alex Clarke says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first
    2) The Raphus solitarius was likely miscategorized due to its color (or lack of color) and was thought to be a species of raphine instead of ibis.
    3) Studying the Viti Levu giant pigeon helps us to understand dodo biology because the two species are closely related (the giant pigeon, in a sense, is the next best thing).
    4)The Rodriques solitaire was larger in size than the dodo.
    5) It is difficult to describe the appearance of the dodo and Rodriques solitaire because the only record of them is descriptions and artists interpretations, which can be unreliable and vary in accuracy.
    6)Based on the Rodriques solitaires’ wing knobs and skeletal fractures, it is likely that they fought often and were territorial. The dodo lacks any combative wing adaptations.
    7) The tortoise trade and extinction of the Rodriques solitaire are strongly linked. The tortoise trade brought hunters to the Rodriques solitaire habitat and anthropogenic activities and introduction of nonnative species likely lead to it’s extinction.
    8) Subfossils of dodo remains have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, which are crucial to our understanding of the dodo.
    9)Dodos are thought to have dispersed seeds of the Tambalacque tree and the dodo’s extinction was thought to have been the cause of the decline in tree populations. New evidence suggests that tortoises are much more effective at dispersing seeds than the dodo was.
    10) It is hypothesized that the Broad-billed parrot fed on the fruit seeds that were made available for consumption through the digestion of fruit by the dodo. The parrot relied on the dodo and when the dodo went extinct, so did the parrot.
    11) Sketches of the red rails after the extinction of the dodo confused the issue if the dodo was extinct or not.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is the tip of the iceberg because there is huge potential for other organisms in similar island ecosystems to go extinct as well.

  108. Bethany McAuliffe says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) It is likely the Reunion ibis because of variations of characteristics in its phenotyp
    3) Their anatomy is similar to one another and the traits exhibited can determine where the Dodo may have converged.
    4) Current evidence shows uncertainty as to which bird was larger, however, it is known that the Dodo is a thicker, stocky, specimen while the Rodrique Solitaire is lengthy and tall.
    5) There is no complete Dodo skeleton found on record. The accounts of eye witness of these birds are interpretations from the 15th century.
    6) Skeletal analysis of the Rodrigues solitaire showed fractures and irregular bone growth on the wings. Therefore, it is implied that this species would use that body part when sparring/defending from other species. Also, the location of the dodo was more environmentally stable in comparison to that of Rodigues, meaning less territorial aggression between species.

    7) Poaching of the tortoise indirectly influence the extinction of the Rodrigues. During their hunt, poachers would destroy vegetation, thus destroying its habitat. Poachers would also release non-native species, (such as cats and pigs) that would eat Rodrigues eggs if nests were found.

    8) Dodo birds that get trapped in the mud have fossil remains that have been well preserved over time. Quick burial after death in a moist environment for an extensive amount of time is optimal for fossil preservation.

    9) It is believed that the dodo tree was dependent on the dodo for seed dispersal, thus, the spread of its genetic material. However, it was later discovered that other organisms such as the tortoise could serve the same purpose as the dodo. Thus, the Dodo was not the only benefactor of dodo tree seed dispersal.

    10) The Broad-billed parrot may have been reliant on the seed dispersal/break down on the dodo/tortoise in order to obtain food. As for the Cylindraspis tortoise, it is possible that wherever the dodo bird is present among dodo trees, this tortoise may have been present as well. Thus, the extinction of the dodo bird affected the survival of the tortoise.

    11) The red rail is phenotypically similar to that of the dodo bird. It also has similar habitat characteristics and behavioral patterns to that of the dodo bird. Thus, accounts of the dodo may have been confused/overlapped with possible red rail siting’s.

    12) The dodo ultimately adapted and evolved with no anthropogenic induced pressures. However, because of that limited interaction with external pressures (such as humans, infrastructure development, and predators) they could not adapt as easily. Therefore, the presence of a new habitat was unsuitable for their survival, and they were unable to outcompete other species.

  109. Nicholas Miller says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    A potential third species of raphine now considered more like to be the reunion ibis was due to its coloration, it was either an albino or bleached white by a taxidermist.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because its size and physiology is very similar to the dodo bird.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Based on the limited evidence it was deducted that the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the dodo, it had a greater weight.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because these birds have been extinct for some time. We can only base our depiction of there appearance from fossils or artists renditions of what they may have looked like.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so? \
    It appears the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial because the food resources were limited where it lived, but the dodo had plenty of food resources thus territoriality did not maximize fitness.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The saddlebacked Mauritius giant tortoise and domed Mauritius giant tortoise both lived with the solitaires. Due to the tortoise trade they were hunted extensively and the addition of introduced animals, led to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The significance of the Mare aux songes swamp to studies of the dodo is high due to the fact that many dodo fossils have been found there. This gives us some insight on the preferred habitat of the bird.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Apparently the dodo bird was crucial to this tree, the stomach acid of the dodo was required to break the seed dormancy, thus the dodo was essential for germination of this tree and when the dodo went extinct so too did the tambalacoque.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Both dodos and cylindraspis tortoises eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which in turn is forage for the broad billed parrot.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail and dodo are physically very similar and have been confused and talked about interchangeably, this led to confusion about the extinction dates for the dodo.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg for extinctions on Mauritius because of the degree of anthropogenic influences on the island which are leading to extinction of these species at a more rapid rate.

  110. Dylan Young says:

    1) Dodos went extinct first.

    2) The potential third species of Raphus solitarius is now considered to be more like the Reunion ibis because originally the species was assumed to be a relative of the dodo because of its white feathers and its lack of ability to fly. Later on it was determined that the species was falsely identified and most likely the feathers had been altered by the taxidermist.

    3) The giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it is believed that the two species are related. They both are large flightless birds with physical attributes.

    4) Based on limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo.

    5) It is difficult to describe the physical appearance of the two species because there is no complete skeleton of the species.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire had a keeled sternum, which is linked to the fact that the species used its wings to fight. While the dodo did not and appears to be less aggressive.

    7) The tortoise trade is linked to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because it resulted in the destruction of the species’ habitat.

    8) Mar aux Songes swamp is significant to studies of the dodo because scientists found dodo remains in this location which are still used in studies.

    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and the Tambalacoque is that the Tambalacoque may have relied on the dodo to disperse its seeds throughout the landscape.

    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo may be linked to the extinction of Broad-billed parrot because the species relied on the dodo and tortoise to consume and excrete palm fruits so they could then eat them.

    11) The red rail could confuse the extinction dates of dodos because they have similar physical attributes, which makes it hard to determine which species is which.

    12) The extinction of dodos is only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because they are still heavily endangered. Human influence has brought countless invasive species, and irreversible changes to ecosystems.

  111. Haley Holmes says:

    1) Which Raphinae went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo was the first Raphinae to go extinct between these two species.

    2) Why was a potential third species of Raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The Raphus solitarius was more likely to be a Reunion ibis because of the possibility of white plumage (though this may or may not be true). There are thoughts that a specimen was altered post-taxidermy via bleach or was misrepresented through a painting. Though there is a possibility that the thought of white plumage came from an albino specimen and/or white was the coloration of juvenile plumage.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to be related to the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire, thus giving more insight to how these Dodo and Rodriques solitaire behaved, moved, and evolved.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Rodriques solitaire would have been the larger species. While both were fairly large ground-dwelling birds, the Dodo was much more heavy and stocky than the Rodriques solitaire. Plus, the Dodo’s legs and neck were slightly shorter proportionately than the Rodriques solitaire.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Because the last live specimen existed so long ago, there is very little information on the looks of the Dodo. There is only one shrunken head specimen with organic tissue to determine DNA with and the only other specimens are incomplete skeletal structures. Photography and video were non-existent at that time and thus there are no photos or videos to go off of. Therefore, it is rather difficult to determine what the Dodos actually looked like.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitaire was more likely to be territorial due to biological differences between them and the Dodo. The Rodriques solitaire has a keel (aka breastbone/sternum) which shows that these birds used their wings in combat. The Dodo lacks this feature and thus displays that the Dodo was a much more pacifying creature.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade brought along hunters who would burn away vegetation and release foreign species like cats and pigs onto the island, harming the Rodriques solitaires’ populations and habitats. The tortoise hunters were also presumed to have hunted the Rodriques solitaires as well.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The Mare aux Songes swamp preserved subfossil material of the Dodo and also provides some information on the preferred habitat of the Dodos.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The “Dodo Tree” is a very rare species, whose survival is unlikely due to slow reproductive processes. Some believe that the Tambalacoque could only germinate its seeds when the seeds were consumed and passed through the digestive track of the Dodo, thus allowing the tree to become coextinct with these birds. Others believe that the trees do not require the Dodo to germinate its seeds and that their slow reproductive growth is the only thing allowing the tree to become extinct.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It is thought that the broad-billed parrot relied on the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise to eat palm fruits and seeds which are a main food source for the parrot. As these two other species became extinct by hunters, habitat destruction, or foreign predators, so did the broad-billed parrot due to a lack of food sources.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Some described the red rail bird as “Dodos” or “Dodaers” in sightings of the other bird. Thus, we are unsure if these sightings refer to the real Dodo bird or to the red rail bird, making it difficult to determine the extinction years of each species.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The Dodo was one of the first species to go extinct after the discovery and exploitation of Mauritius Island. Because of the introduction of humans to the island, habitat destruction followed along with the introduction of destructive species like cats and pigs that can do severe damage to already under-threat populations.

  112. Ballav Aryal says:

    1) The Dodo.
    2) The potential third species of raphine was mistakenly thought to be a raphine species based on physical features like its white color. However, it was later found that the specimen maybe a juvenile and that the white coloration was due to bleaching during taxidermy.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is similar to the dodo in terms of size and physiology. Therefore, it is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire may have been larger and taller than the dodo but it is believed that the dodo was more robust.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because both of them have been extinct for hundreds of years and not a lot of evidence from the times when they lived has been found.
    6) It was essentially due to the availability of food and resources in their respective habitats. Rodriques solitaires did not have enough food and resources where they lived. So, they evolved becoming highly territorial. On the other hand, the dodo lived in habitats with plenty of food and resources. So, they did not become very territorial.
    7) Tortoise traders killed Rodriques solitaires when they were on the island looking for tortoises. They also released other predators in the islands to kill tortoises. Those predators also killed a lot of Rodriques solitaires. All of this aided in the extinction of the Rodriques solitaires.
    8) A lot of dodo fossils and skeletons were found in the Mare aux Songes swamp that has facilitated the studies of dodo.
    9) It was believed that the seeds from a tree’s would only germinate after passing through the diegestive system of the dodo. Later it was found that there was no evidence that it was true.
    10) The dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises ate palm fruits and excreted their seeds. These seeds were food for the Broad-billed parrots.
    11) It seems likely that the red rails were referred to as the dodo a long time after dodo’s extinction. This created a confusion regarding extinction date of the dodos.
    12) Many other species found in the Mauritius may have gone extinct similarly to the dodo. Invasive species and human migration to the area triggered a great competition for food and resources among many species native to the area. This may have led to extinctions of many species in Mauritius like the dodo.
    13) Yes, the dodo is really extinct. Extracting the DNA from the remains of that dodo that have been found is difficult or not very likely. A few species similar to the dodo still live and they exhibit characteristics similar to the dodo. However, the actual dodos are extinct.
    14) Well, the dodo can be resurrected only if we are able to obtain the DNA or the genetic materials of the dodo somehow. If we could do that, the new biotechnological and genetic innovations could make it possible. However, I honestly do not see the point of resurrecting the dodo. For one thing, it would be difficult and costly to do so. Also, the dodo would still need to deal with all the environmental changes that have occurred in its habitat. I do not believe that they would have a good chance of surviving in the long run even if we resurrected the dodo.

  113. Emily Koch says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first, before the Rodriques solitaire
    2. The initial specimen of the supposed third species of raphine has been found to be misclassified due to coloring. This specimen was determined to be either an albino or a juvenile of the Reunion ibis species, or a result of improper taxidermy or artistic license.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is only slightly smaller then the dodo; and like the dodo, it is flightless and evolved on an island. Also, both birds are taxonomically related to the crowned pigeons, making the giant pigeon relevant to the studies of dodo biology and evolution.
    4. It is hard to say based on what little evidence is provided which bird was larger. Both varied greatly in weight depending on gender. The Dodo seems to have been shorter and more rotund then the Rodriques solitaire, which was taller and usually heavier.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of both the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire for many reasons. First, both have been extinct for a long time, so getting ones hands on or even viewing a living specimen is out of the question. Second, no photographs exist of the animals, and limited and unreliable drawings or descriptions are few and far between. People did not understand the idea of extinction back when these animals were alive, so collecting data was not forethought. One complete skeleton remains of the dodo, but that is hardly enough to get an accurate description of the entire species.
    6. The Rodriques solitaire have carpal spurs and knobs on their wings, which is what suggests they were highly territorial animals. This animal would have evolved in an area where resources were scarce, causing a need for aggressive territorial behavior. Also, the dodo evolved in an area with more available resources and less predation risk.
    7. The growth of the tortoise trade coincides with the disappearance of the Rodriques solitaire. The birds habitat was burned by the people in the tortoise trade, who also hunted the birds and released species like cats and pigs that preyed upon the Rodriques solitaires and their young.
    8. This specific swamp contained subfossils of a number of extinct species, including the dodo. This could lead to the idea that the swamp once provided ideal habitat for dodo birds.
    9. The Tambalacoque is endemic to Mauritus and currently has a declining population. Some of the individual trees on the island are over 300 years old, around the time that dodo’s went extinct. It has been stipulated that the dodo was essential for Tambalacoque population growth, as the dodo would eat these seeds, pass them through their digestive system where they would germinate once passed onto the ground in the bird’s feces. However, some believe that the population decline of the tree has nothing to do with the disappearance of the dodo as some seeds of germinated since the dodos demise.
    10. Both dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises foraged on palm fruits and in turn excrete their seeds. These seeds were then eaten by species like the Broad-billed parrot.
    11. Descriptions and sketches of the red rail from dates around the time of the extinction of the dodo seem to have been confused with drawings of the dodo.
    12. Because Mauritius is an islands, the species that inhabit it have been isolated for a very long time and have not had the chance to evolve to new world pressures like invasive species and other environmental changes.

  114. Leo Clifton says:

    1) The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2) The specimen that was observed had a white coloration. But that is due to it being a juvenile, or an albino variety.
    3) Because it has similar physiology to the Dodo, making it seem to be a close relative.
    4) It is believed that the Dodo was shorter and wider.
    5) All of the information about the appearance of the birds is from written accounts, bones, and sketches. Making everything open to our own interpretation of the interpretation of the artist.
    6) The Rodriques had a knob on its wings which is a characteristic of fighting birds. They also had fractures in their wings which indicated combat. Mauritius, the Dodo’s habitat, had higher rainfall and therefore more abundant resources; reducing the need for competition.
    7) Traders burned the vegetation, hunted the Rodriques and introduced animals that could prey on them.
    8) The swamp is where the first skeletons and many later ones were located. Leading to the belief that this is either the initial habitat of the Dodo, or an important area to them.
    9) It used to be believed that he Dodo bird was necessary for the tree to reproduce by ingesting the seeds and germinating them. It is now believed that they were germinated by tortoises and other animals, meaning that the dodo was not a necessity for the survival of the tree.
    10) It is believed that the tortoises and Dodo would eat excrete seeds that the parrots relied on for food.
    11) Many later sightings of the Dodo are believed to have been sightings of the red rail; this is due to the term dodo being used to describe the red rail, making historic accounts hard to differentiate.
    12) Many other species have gone extinct and decreased in population due to the same reasons as the Dodo since the introduction of man. Hunting, invasive species, and habitat loss.

  115. Kenzie Durham says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The “third species” turned out to be an albino and is still considered to be of the same species.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Looking at the lineages of the two they are thought to share a common ancestor and could be related.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The rodriques solitaire weighed more than the dodo but the length and height of the two comparatively is unclear.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    They’ve both been extinct for a long time. There are fossils but those don’t determine the color or exact appearance of the birds.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo occupied better habitat with more plentiful food while the solitaire most likely had to fight for resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade indirectly effected the Rodriques solitaire population. Traders brought with them cats and pigs that would eat the Rodriques solitaire’s eggs.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first dodo skeleton was found there.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was hypothesized in the 1970’s that germination and reproduction of new trees could only occur when dodo birds ingested and seeds passed through the dodo’s digestive track. Thus the extinction of the dodo bird had caused a significant decrease in Tambalacoque trees. Within the last 10 years however, research suggests tortoises are also able to disperse the seeds which discredits earlier conclusions.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Some scientists think that the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises could also disperse seed after passing through the GI tract.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Some think that the so called “sighting” of the dodo in the late 17th century were actually red rail.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    They inhabited a fragile ecosystem that consisted of species that didn’t have to adapt very quickly. As a result, when one species went extinct many others went extinct in pursuit.
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Yes. There might be some tissues and cell samples left but the conditions of those cells would not be able to produce a new dodo on their own. Functionally the dodos are extinct. Even if the tissue could be cloned, the cloned tissue would only replicate tissue that is the same age as the tissue found, and it wouldn’t produce young, baby tissue.
    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    You would have to find a species that is closely enough related to dodo that the DNA within the host would not destroy the dodo DNA when it’s introduced. You’d have to find a vector that could replicate the DNA to the point where you could actually construct cells. It’d be really difficult without really well preserved DNA where the molecules themselves haven’t lysed. If you could get all of that to work I suggest we set them loose in towns across America to make the world a more interesting place.

  116. David Navarro says:

    1) Of the two species, the Dodo went extinct first.
    2) Raphus solitaries is now considered to be Threskiornis solitaires because artistic renditions skewed the actual physical characteristics of the bird. The juvenile plumage was a lighter color then the adults and bleaching would occur during taxidermy.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon was relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they shared the same characteristics as the dodo.
    4) The Dodo may have been larger than the Rodriques solitaire.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because during the time of human observation there were not many recordings or descriptions of the birds. Also, scientists for the first time this year were able to look at the full skeleton figure, this may help us figure out what the bird looked like, but not to the specifics we desire
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was probably more highly territorial, because the areas that it inhabited receives scarcer resources.
    7) Tortoise trade caused an increase in human populations in the area. This caused higher habitat destruction and an introduction of domesticated animals that killed off many of these species young.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp are important to the studies of the Dodo because it contains the highest amount of dodo bones for study.
    9) The dodo tree was belived to require the aid of a Dodo gizzard in order to germinate. It was later discredited, being found to germinate on their own.
    10) The Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises are believed to eat the fruits of the Culindraspis from the droppings of Dodos.
    11) The red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo because of the similarities in appearance between the birds.
    12) Due to the impact of humans, many species may suffer the same fate as the Dodo.

  117. Gabe Van Winkle says:

    1. The Dodo
    2. The potential third species of raphine was more likely a Reunion ibis that had light coloring, was juvenile and possibly was altered during the taxidermy process.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is in the same family as the dodo and has similar features.
    4. The Rodriques solitaire was bigger
    5. All we have to go on is sketches and the bones that remain there are no photos or whole specimens.
    6. The dodo lived in an environment with an abundance of resources so it did not need to be so territorial to survive.
    7. The traders destroyed the habitat on the island where Rodriques solitaire lived and introduced mammalian species that preyed on the eggs and the young.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where most Dodo remains are found.
    9. The tree is beginning to die off and the though is that the Dodo may have been necessary for the trees seeds to come out of dormancy, however that theory has been abandoned.
    10. The broad-billed parrot is thought to have eaten the seeds that were passed by the Dodo so when the Dodo went extinct the parrot ran out of food.
    11. Red rails and Dodos were often confused for one another in the 1700’s so some sketches are improperly labeled.
    12. The island has many endemic species that have adapted to living together and the loss of one species or the introduction of nonnative species can have significant impacts on the other species.

  118. Paula Moore says:

    Unit 8 Doddo and Dumbarse…..
    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo bird went extinct first in 1693.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Fossil remains with DNA analysis suggest the Rophine was really in another family of long legged birds.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Dodo family is classified as ‘large birds’. Based upon similar bone structure, the giant pigeon was placed in the same family.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    It would appear the Rodriques was larger than the Dodo bird. From limited written descriptions and hand drawings, the Rodriques was taller with a swan like neck and heavier by 10-15 pounds.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The people and island inhabitants from the era where less descriptive and did not know to document the birds characteristics in detail. A comparison of the available drawings shows conflicting body characteristics; slim vs fat, tall vs short, full plumage vs less feathers. The thought of extinction was not a concern for the 17th century.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Solitaire is literally named after “solidarity” because it was only seen alone by the first island inhabitants of ship wrecked sailors. The bird mates for life and laid only one egg. It appeared on the island is certain regions and dined on fruit and seeds. The mating pattern and dietary needs probably contributed to the observed place-bound behavior.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Between 1730 – 1750, the tortoise trappers over hunted and burned the habitat of the Solitaire. Cats and pigs were introduced to the island and ate the birds’ eggs. In 1755, an extensive search of the island for a live bird resulted in no findings. There were no live birds to take captive. It is believed the bird was extinct by this date.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The studies of Mare aux Songes was the first realization of the fact that human interactions caused the extinction of an entire species.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The Tambalacoque tree is similar to a peach tree and hypothesized a food source for the Dodo. A theory exists that since the extinction of the Dodo, the tree is not able to germinate without passing through the gut of a Dodo bird. Poorly designed study illustrated that a seed which passed through a Turkey gut did germinate. Sciencetisit since have discovered more trees on the island than once thought. A young Tambalacouque tree looks like another species and was likely under estimated in counts.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The Broad-billed parrot, tortoise and Dodo were all ground dwellers on the same set of islands. These three animals have similar beaks with large bills for cracking nuts. The plant fauna was similar on the coastal habits.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Paintings and drawings from the era of the Dodo has the two birds within the same time frame which conflicts the description and journals of travelers and trappers of the time. The written journals of traveler in the time period discuss an earlier time for the red tail. The classification of both birds has changed over time based upon examination of fossils.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    There are actually many birds which went extinct in a short period time on the islands. Over hunting and introduction of new species jointly contributed to drastic changes of the natural habitats of these ground dwelling birds occupied.
    13) Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Given the small size of the islands, I would have to say the Dodo is really extinct. With the journal entries from the time period, the lack of siting by indigenous people for several 100s of years that is no evidence the bird survived.
    14) How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    I personally would not proposed to resurrect the Dodo. The only ‘resurrecting’ which is appropriate is the study of the period specific journals, sketches, paintings and any fossil castings available. Resurrecting the history and retelling the story with accurate detail is important. Bring back a long extinct bird has no place in my opinion in a modified ecosystem. Now, if there were historic reserves which were similar in ecosystem characteristics or other old ancient species of birds, there might be a preponderance at the idea. The Jurassic Park idea is not a good idea – Period. Let extinct species lie and lessons be learned.

  119. Kaitlin Gerber says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) The potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because it was originally described without mention of color and next to a picture of a dodo which caused confusion.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because like the dodo, it is thought to be related to crown pigeons.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire is thought to be larger than the dodo
    5) It is hard to describe the appearance of the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because most reports are based off illustrations and descriptions from a long time ago. There is no complete specimen of a dodo to gather information of its appearance.
    6) It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial unlike the dodo because Mauritius receives more rainfall and has less seasonal variation than Rodrigues. This has an important effect on the availability of resources on the island. Because Mauritius was thought to have more consistently abundant resources, the dodo doesn’t need to be territorial.
    7) The disappearance of Rodriques solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. At this time traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.
    8) The the Mare aux Songes swamp is where most of the subfossil material of the dodo has been collected and may have been the dodo’s preferred habitat.
    9) It was thought that the dodo tree was depended on the dodo for its propagation. It was dependent in that its seeds would germinate only after passing through the bird’s digestive tract; however this idea has been largely disproved.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo is thought to be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises in that the broad-billed parrot may have depended on dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots.
    11) The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo since people often misinterpreted the red rail as being the dodo. Because the red rail was transferred after the extinction of the dodo, the observations of dodo species may not be credible since a different bird could have been observed and confused.
    12) The extinction of the dodo bird was the tip of the iceberg for extinctions in Mauritius because a lot of animals have gone extinct due to the same cause. Humans have forced a lot of animals in Mauritius to become extinct by altering the habitat of the island.

  120. Adam McClelland says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct.

    2) During early evaluation of the Ibis, paintings and the understanding of the differences between white dodos and the Ibis were unclear. Many scientists based their descriptions on earlier interpretations and drawings of species. There is also evidence that some work of the correct interpretation of the taxonomy for the species was lost during during a shipwreck and wasn’t revisited until 7 years later. These are the grounds for the mistakes being made in the 1600’s when early biologist were working on classifying the species.

    3) It was also found on Fiji and was flightless. It was similar to the dodo in size and scientists could have used to fossil discovered to compare to dodo’s.

    4) In comparison, the dodo shorter and more robust. It also had a larger head, smaller eyes, and more round features.

    5) There wasn’t much concise data collected on living birds. There was mostly fossil evidence found of the species and there were no representations of the species using taxidermy or complete skeletal exhibits.

    6) The Rodrigues solitaire may have been extremely territorial because it only laid one egg and both sexes took turns incubating it. There is also evidence of combat due to fractures in wing bones and knobs in the wrists. There was no evidence that the Dodo experienced combat on levels that the Rodrigues did. Also, the region that the Dodo’s inhabited received high levels of precipitation and could have provided them with increased resources, demanding less stress on survival needs.

    7) During 1730-1750 the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire occurred at the same time as the tortoise due to human disturbances and invasive species release.

    8) A large amount of fossils have been found at the Mare aux songes swamps which suggests that the area provided habitat requirements for the species. Along with this, no adolescent fossils were found in the area suggesting that breeding grounds were not located at the same area that these fossils were found. The swamps may have been places to forage and find resources for younglings and nest building.

    9) The controversy is over the fact that the Tambalacoque tree and the Dodo populations declined together, yet they still exist but in very few numbers. Scientists suggest that the germination of the tree relied on the Dodo eating the fruit from the tree and then dispersing the seed. However, these trees do still germinate so their life cycle is not dependent on the Dodo for reproduction, but they may have increased their abundance.

    10) It’s hypothesized that the Parrot relied on the droppings of Dodo to eat the seeds that went through their bodies and were cleaned.

    11) Confusion was caused in the 1960s when the word Dodo was used in the same context as the red rail. Along with this, scientists believe that the 17th Century sightings of supposed Dodo birds was actually the red rail.

    12) There were many other extinctions to occur after the Dodo because there was no evidence of large predators forming a strong ecological system. The species on Mauritius are theorized to have been less fit due to less inclination to expand genetically and adapt to changes in the environment and their daily interactions.

    This is my second time examining this information. This time around I found a few things interesting that I had overlooked during my first visit. Firstly re-investigating Island gigantism is a really interesting idea which forced me to consider the story of human evolution. Without the extinction of the dinosaurs during a huge mass extinction events, small mammals which lead to the evolution of us today, would have been the extinct species. This thought is some what polar to the idea of Island gigantism, but immediately brought me to think about our species, how human of me. Another little tidbit I was oblivious too, was the relevance of the dodo to popular culture as an object which represents “unquestionable death” or being “Obsolete.”

  121. Nicholas Morgenstern says:

    Nicholas Morgenstern
    November 30, 2015

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Travelers to the Island of Reunion saw a white bird that flew with difficulty and was refered to as the Reunion solitaire. In the mid 19th century, people thought that the Reunion ibis was a dodo. No fossils of dodos were found on the island so that’s why now its likely to be the Reunion ibis.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because the bird is only slightly smaller than the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire and is thought to be related to crown pigeons.

    4) The Rodrigues solitaire may have been larger.

    5) There are no photographs that exist of the flightless birds, so artist recreations rely on illustrations and written accounts of the birds.

    6) The Rodrigues solitaire retained more of its wing which was thought to be an adaptation for fighting, whereas the dodo retained very little as the birds evolved to become large, flightless pigeons.

    7) While hunting tortoise during the time of the Rodrigues solitaire extinction, hunters burnt off vegetation, hunted the solitaires and imported cats and pigs which fed on the solitaires eggs and chicks.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is a place in south eastern Maurities where a bunch of subfossil remains of dodos were found.

    9) The controversy with the dodo tree is that it is thought that the seeds of the tree could only germinate after passing through the digestive tract of the dodo.

    10) It is thought that the cylindraspis tortoises and dodo provided food for the broad-billed parrot in the form of undigested seeds in their stool.

    11) The red rail and the dodo went extinct around the same time, and it is thought that most of the late sightings of dodos may have been of the red rail.

    12) Mauritius is a place that has been evolving without human contact for thousands of years. The initial human contact brought rats, pigs, cats and other animals that ate dodo eggs and chicks, which drove the species to extinction along with hunting. It is the tip of the iceberg because the animals of Mauritius are not adapted to predation, therefore exposing more and more animals to extinction as they are preyed upon.

  122. Brendan Byrne says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first
    2) The potential third species of Raphine is considered more likely to be the reunion ibis the genetics of the bird suggested that it was in the long legged bird family.
    3) They are both placed in the same family
    4) The Rodriques solitaire was bigger from what the descriptions and drawings indicated.
    5) The birds were not well documented at the time before there extinction and only were around a limited time for documentation
    6) The limited resources on the island indicated the reason for the solitaires highly territorial nature.
    7) The traders in the tortoise trade burnt the habitat and hunted them as well as importing cats and pigs which ate their eggs.
    8) That is where a large amount of the fossils of the Dodo were collected
    9) The controversy with the dodo tree is that the tree required the dodo bird and when that went extinct the tree suffered
    10) The broad billed parrot relied on the dodo and the tortoise to eat and digest palm fruit then pass the seeds which the parrot used as a food source once the seeds were broken down.
    11) The dodo and the red tail were used interchangeably which makes it difficult to know which species was of discussion
    12) The very nature of being an island is why the dodo was the tip of the iceberg, the island is small and isolated and without any natural predators and humans being able to dominate the landscape and change the ecosystems through settling the island and degrading the fragile island.

  123. Holly Larson says:

    1. The first to become extinct between the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire is the Dodo, which went extinct around 1658, about a century after its introduction. The Rodriques solitaire, on the other hand, faced its end by the late 1700s.
    2. The third potential species of the raphine family is not considered a species of its own, but rather the Reunion ibis because the documented light coloredness could be because of juvenility, misrepresentation by the artist, or caused by bleaching in the taxidermy process.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant in Dodo studies because its subfossil remains showed that it was a close relative of the Dodo, with similar size and physiology.
    4. Although the weight of the birds varied, depending on food availability of the season, the solitaire is estimated to be heavier than the Dodo, up to 28 kg compared to between 10 and 21 kg. The solitaire was also taller than the Dodo; however the Dodo did possess a larger beak.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo and the solitaire because first of all, there are no photographs, only written descriptions of the birds. Also, there are only two nearly complete fossil records of the Dodo, but many small remains from several individuals, making it difficult to assess the overall size, stature, and mechanics more accurately.
    6. There are certain physical characteristics of the Rodriques solitaire that indicate that it was a bit more territorial than the Dodo. An advantageous knob on the wrist of the solitaire was used in defending its territory, whereas the weak, small wings of the Dodo were of limited use in terms of defense. Also, the island in which the solitaire inhabited had greater seasonal restrictions on food availability, thus, the amount of competition for resources was greater, compared to the island of Mauritius, where the Dodo resided.
    7. The extinction of the solitaire, similar to that of the Dodo, was caused by human involvement on the island. Not only did humans hunt the solitaire, they also introduced other mammals that would as well feed on the bird and its eggs. Furthermore, their habitat was reduced and its necessary resources made less available. Tortoise trade is associated with the extinction of the bird because the trade brought humans to the island so they could also hunt tortoises.
    8. The majority of Dodo skeletons have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, which held a large quantity of bones and remains, with the exception of those from juveniles. This area is of great significance because the preservation and discovery of these remains help scientists understand many components of the Dodo’s life.
    9. The controversy surrounding the Dodo and the “Dodo tree” is due to the allegation that the germination of the seed of the tree is reliant upon the feeding and digesting of the seed by the Dodo bird. This, however, is not the case. The seeds of the tree were able to germinate even with the extinction of the bird.
    10. The Dodo and the tortoise fed on palm fruits and their excretions of the seeds were eaten by the Broad-billed parrot. Without exposing the seed from the fruit, the parrots were unable to eat this staple item of their diet. Also, the Dodo increased the spread of the Tambalacoque tree, because of their process in the germination, which was therefore more available to be fed upon by the parrot and tortoise.
    11. The Red rail has been referred to as a Dodo in historical records and it also has a similar distress cry to that of the Dodo, which may have confused those who have recorded their interactions with the Dodo. One particular account of a “Dodo” was after their extinction, on Amber Island, which caused confusion as to when the Dodo actually went extinct.
    12. The Dodo’s extinction is only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to extinctions on Mauritius because the simple effects that islands have on their wild inhabitants in terms of food and habitat availability, competition, and other stressors.

  124. Alexander Baier says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Last sighting of a dodo in 1665. Rodrigues driven to extinction in the late 1700s.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Due to color and other physical differences that were confused by drawings.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Subfossils were found in Fiji and it was also a flightless bird slightly smaller than the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Dodo was more robust and shorter. Rodrigues was taller.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    1) No species exist. 2) Drawings are primary evidence. 3) No descriptions by scientists only “guides for future voyages”.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    Mauritius received more rainfall and less seasonal variation than Rodrifues which did not require the dodo to compete due to adequate resources and less competition.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The saddle-backed Mauritius giant tortoise and domed Mauritius giant tortoise lived with dodos and all became extinct once humans arrived.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Large amount of subfossil material has been collected from the swamp.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was a possibility that the Tambalacoque depened on dispersion by dodos. They would need to eat the seeds and their digestive acids allowed for germination after passing the seed. Once the dodo became extinct, the Tambalacoque became extinct as well.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It has been suggested that the broad billed parrot depended on dodos and cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds which became food for the parrots. Interspecies dependency.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Descriptions after 1662 use the names dodo and dodaers when referring to red rails.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    This can be said because they were the main focus however, “the rest of the iceberg” or other species on Mauritius became extinct after humans arrived. The unseen affects following the dodo’s extinction can be observed with dependent species like the broad-billed parrot or other animals that became part of trade

  125. Vanessa Paurus says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2) The potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because the coloration was more similar to that of the raphine.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it shares the same genetic lineage and DNA similarities.
    4) It is thought that the Rodriques solitaire was larger and taller than the Dodo.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the appearance of the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because there is not a lot of detailed, documented evidence toward the birds.
    6) In the dodo’s habitat, there were not large predators or animals so the survival need to be territorial was not there. This was not the same situation with the Rodriques solitaire, it was in an environment where being territorial was a part of survival.
    7) The tortoise trade brought more humans to the island that the Rodriques solitaire lived on, this interference caused their extinction. They were very easy birds to hunt and kill for food.
    8) There have been a lot of Dodo bones and artifacts found at the Mare aux Songes swamp so it is beneficial to study there.
    9) There is not a lot of evidence on the subject, but it is hypothesized that the germination of “the dodo tree” was only possibly when eaten and digested through the dodo bird.
    10) It was also thought that the extinct Broad-billed parrot relied on the dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises to digest the seeds they ate before the parrot was able to eat them.
    11) In past journals, there is not a very clear differentiation between the red rail and the dodo. Both were confused with one another quite often, so it is possible that when sightings of the red rail continued after the dodo was thought to be extinct, this was a mistake for the wrong bird.
    12) This island was not too long ago, completely untouched by humans. Once people arrived, it did not take long for species such as the dodo to become extinct and I am surer that extinctions on this island as well as other habitats contaminated by people will continue to lose diversity with our negative impacts.
    13) A one-word response would be, yes, the Dodo is extinct. But, with science progressing and the possibility of bringing species back into existence, it is not a for sure thing. The Dodo may be difficult to bring back just because it does not sound like they have enough DNA remaining from the birds to sequence and make their existence possible. The Dodo’s ancestors live on and potentially; another bird related to the Dodo could be brought into existence.
    14) If resurrecting the Dodo were to actually happen, it would probably be most logical to use whatever DNA still remains from the Dodo and also use their closest living ancestor to come up with a Dodo species. Personally though, I do not think resurrecting the Dodo is a good idea. I do not think there would be enough public interest and then whatever ecosystem it is placed in may disrupt the balance that has adapted there already.

  126. Joshua Morman says:

    1. The Dodo bird was the first of the Raphinae to go extinct.
    2. A potential third species was reclassified as a Reunion ibis, because the description of the bird and the painting of it show character traits of an ibis not a Raphinae bird. The beak matches that of an ibis.
    3. The viti levu giant pigeon is relevant to the study of the dodo, because is it similar in size and has similar physiological features.
    4. The Rodriguez was most likely taller and heavier than the dodo.
    5. It is difficult to accurately describe the appearance of the birds, because most of the illustrations of them are not scientific and could easily be exaggerated or even flat out lies. Also, even if the illustrations and descriptions are accurate many are from captive birds which were likely much fatter than those in the wild.
    6. The Rodriguez was likely more territorial, because the climate of the island it lived on (Rodriguez Island) provided less food than Mauritius where the dodo lived. Less food made for more aggression and territorial traits.
    7. The tortoise trade went through the region in the mid 1700’s and Rodriguez Island was used as part of it. The sailors staying there burnt off natural vegetation and released animals that hunted the Rodriguez solitaire to extinction.
    8. The swamp contains many dodo skeletons, so is thought to be a suitable habitat for the species when they were alive.
    9. The Tambalacoque controversy was an idea that the tree relied on dodo birds to eat their seeds so that germination could occur, because the tree started declining in numbers and many specimens are around 300 years old when the dodo bird went extinct. This was later proved false however.
    10. Some think that the broad-billed parrot relied on dodos and tortoises to eat palms and fruits and excrete the seeds, which the parrot relied on for food.
    11. The red rail is similar looking to the dodo bird, or at least similar enough that illustrations of each could be confused with the other.
    12. The dodo may only be the tip of the iceberg, because many of the species on the island of Mauritius are like the dodo in that they have evolved for a very particular environment. This environment has been upset by invasive species that previously did not live on the island, with the arrival of humans. The native species are still being out-competed for resources and more will likely become extinct if no action is taken.

  127. vince says:

    Dodo Biology
    1. Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first—the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct less than a century after its discovery in 1598 and the Rodriques solitaire went extinct in the late 1700s.
    2. Why was the potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitaries) now considered to me more likely the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    More than likely, the misconception is due to an artistic rendering.
    3. Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution?
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon may be a close relative to the dodo and they share common physiological traits. These two bird species are also in the family Columbidae.
    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger—the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Rodriques solitaire is the heavier and taller of the two bird species.
    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Full skeletal remains have been rare to find and so most skeletons have been pieced together using multiple birds.
    6. Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    This may be likely due to resource competition. The dodo had more resources at its disposal and therefore didn’t need to be territorial. The opposite may be true for the Rodriques solitaire.
    7. What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    With the tortoise trade came invasive species like rats, and pigs that preyed upon the eggs. Devastating anthropogenic influences like fire and habitat loss also played a crucial role.
    8. What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The excavation site has provided the some of the most useful insight via skeletal remains.
    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree”—the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The “dodo tree” was thought to be in decline because it was believed that the seeds had to pass through the digestive tract of the dodo but this has been disproven.
    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Similar to the “dodo tree” it was thought that the parrot’s and tortoise’s food source had to first be passed through the dodo, exposing the seed which could then be fed on by these two species.
    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    This is likely due to artistic drawings of one bird after the extinction of the other. The confusion lies in the fact that the two species are similar looking.
    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    This is only the “tip of the iceberg” because of the fact that this species (and many others) have not had to adapt in isolation and now they have to adapt at an extraordinary rate just to keep up with the anthropogenic influences.

  128. Sarah Taylor says:

    The Dodo Exam
    1) The Dodo was the first of the Raphinae to go extinct.

    2) The potential third species of Raphine is now considered to be a Reunion ibis because it was described as a stocky, flightless bird in journals but was later found that the beak and coloration better matched that of the ibis species.

    3) Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of Dodo evolution and biology because it too was a large flightless island bird. It was only slightly smaller than the Dodo and Rodriques solitaire and was also thought to be a relative of the crowned pigeon sharing the same genetics and DNA which would describe similar evolution aspects.

    4) It is difficult to define which is larger because while the Rodriques solitaire was taller, it was believed to be slimmer. The Dodo on the other hand was more full-bodied but shorter. The size and weight also varies based on the gender of the species.

    5) It is difficult to describe the physical appearance because they have both been extinct for over one hundred years and there were no pictures besides fossils and drawings which only described bone structure, not feather pattern or color.

    6) The Dodo was less territorial than the Rodriques solitaire because they evolved in an abundant resource availability area meaning there was less competition and predation. The solitaire on the other hand developed carpal spurs and knobs on the wings indicating aggressive behavior which the dodo did not possess.

    7) The tortoise traders came to the island and effected the population of Rodriques solitare by burning the vegetation, hunting the birds, and introducing new predators like cats that preyed on the bird eggs.

    8) Mare aux Songes Swamp is where the sub-fossils and bones of the dodo were discovered. The swamp may have been a preferred habitat for the dodos and helped preserve the remains of the dodos.

    9) The dodo helped the “dodo tree” spread its seeds and germinate. However, this was just a theory and other species such as turtles could have done the same thing that went extinct. Either way the extinction of the dodos and the other species during the same time were the main cause of the “dodo tree” extinction.

    10) The foraging and diet of the dodo is linked to the Cylindraspis tortoises because of the hard seeds they are able to digest and disperse. Those digested seeds are then consumed by the Broad-billed parrot. Through this food cycle, each species is linked therefore when one goes extinct the others become endangered and extinct as well.

    11) The red rail confuses the extinction dates for the dodo because they are phenotypically similar and both have similar behavioral characteristics. Their habitat niches are also similar therefore the dates of extinction between the two based on their fossils found may make it hard to differentiate which remains belong to which species.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is the “tip of the iceberg” for the extinctions on the island because they were the first to be extremely effected by human intervention and became extinct due to the humans. Their actions on the island continued to affect all different native species which cause more extinctions and more invasive species presence on the island. The dodo was the first evidence of how human arrival directly caused extinction. Based on the

  129. Sarah Taylor says:

    The Dodo Exam
    1) The Dodo was the first of the Raphinae to go extinct.

    2) The potential third species of Raphine is now considered to be a Reunion ibis because it was described as a stocky, flightless bird in journals but was later found that the beak and coloration better matched that of the ibis species.

    3) Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of Dodo evolution and biology because it too was a large flightless island bird. It was only slightly smaller than the Dodo and Rodriques solitaire and was also thought to be a relative of the crowned pigeon sharing the same genetics and DNA which would describe similar evolution aspects.

    4) It is difficult to define which is larger because while the Rodriques solitaire was taller, it was believed to be slimmer. The Dodo on the other hand was more full-bodied but shorter. The size and weight also varies based on the gender of the species.

    5) It is difficult to describe the physical appearance because they have both been extinct for over one hundred years and there were no pictures besides fossils and drawings which only described bone structure, not feather pattern or color.

    6) The Dodo was less territorial than the Rodriques solitaire because they evolved in an abundant resource availability area meaning there was less competition and predation. The solitaire on the other hand developed carpal spurs and knobs on the wings indicating aggressive behavior which the dodo did not possess.

    7) The tortoise traders came to the island and effected the population of Rodriques solitare by burning the vegetation, hunting the birds, and introducing new predators like cats that preyed on the bird eggs.

    8) Mare aux Songes Swamp is where the sub-fossils and bones of the dodo were discovered. The swamp may have been a preferred habitat for the dodos and helped preserve the remains of the dodos.

    9) The dodo helped the “dodo tree” spread its seeds and germinate. However, this was just a theory and other species such as turtles could have done the same thing that went extinct. Either way the extinction of the dodos and the other species during the same time were the main cause of the “dodo tree” extinction.

    10) The foraging and diet of the dodo is linked to the Cylindraspis tortoises because of the hard seeds they are able to digest and disperse. Those digested seeds are then consumed by the Broad-billed parrot. Through this food cycle, each species is linked therefore when one goes extinct the others become endangered and extinct as well.

    11) The red rail confuses the extinction dates for the dodo because they are phenotypically similar and both have similar behavioral characteristics. Their habitat niches are also similar therefore the dates of extinction between the two based on their fossils found may make it hard to differentiate which remains belong to which species.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is the “tip of the iceberg” for the extinctions on the island because they were the first to be extremely effected by human intervention and became extinct due to the humans. Their actions on the island continued to affect all different native species which cause more extinctions and more invasive species presence on the island. The dodo was the first evidence of how human arrival directly caused extinction.

  130. Delaney Anderson says:

    1. The dodos went extinct before the Rodriques Solitaire.
    2. A raphine is now considered more likely than the Reunion ibis because of its juvenile plumage, aka its color which was lighter.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was relevant to studies of the dodo because of their similar anatomy and relatedness.
    4. The dodo was noted as being more robust and shorter than the solitaire, while the solitaire was recorded as having a larger weight range of 37-62 lbs vs the dodo’s at 23-47lbs.
    5. It’s difficult to physically describe the birds because our idea is based on a variety of drawn pictures and written reports which all vary widely.
    6. The dodo was presumably less territorial than the solitaire because the dodo had less competition for resources. It never needed to be territorial.
    7. The tortoise trade affected the extinction of the solitaire because “traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks”.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp brought attention to the issue of human involvement causing the extinction of an entire species.
    9. The controversy of the dodo and the dodo tree lie in the belief that the dodo was necessary to germinate the tree species because of its digestive tract.
    10. The dodo’s foraging ecology is thought to be linked to the Broad-billed parrot because it is thought to have eaten and digested fruits that were later passed and able to be eaten by the parrots.
    11. The red rail confused the extinction dates of the dodo because many accounts of the dodo being sighted in the 17th century were actually referring to the red rail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo on Mauritius is considered to only being the beginning of the extinctions of species on Mauritius because of the variety of invasive species introduced to the priorly isolated island.

  131. Tyler Caskin says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.

    2. The Raphus solitarius is now widely accepted to be the Réunion ibis (Threskiornis solitarius) because of the lack of fossil evidence to support a dodo like bird was ever on Réunion. It is believed that the early records of a white dodo were the result of a painting of a stuffed dodo with more of a whitish appearance. This, along with reports of a white bird that had reduced flying abilities, is suggested to be the reason why the Réunion ibis was mistakenly classified to be a member of the subfamily Raphinae. The subfossils that have been discovered on Réunion match the appearance of an ibis instead of a dodo like bird.

    3. There is no usable DNA from the Rodrigues solitaire or the dodo, and so there hasn’t been a way to verify when the group containing those two birds diverged from other pigeons. However, the Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to have also diverged from crowned pigeons, so understanding when the species diverged may give some clues as to when the dodo diverged.

    4. The Rodrigues solitaire is believed to be larger than the dodo.

    5. There are written descriptions of both the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire, but there was a lack of bones and fossil evidence for a while. There is one complete skeleton of an individual dodo, but most of the skeletons are incomplete and made up of various dodos. In addition, there is no preserved specimen and no soft tissue for either species.

    6. There was plenty of rainfall on the island Mauritius and small seasonal variation, so there was less need to develop aggressive behaviors. The island Rodrigues had less rain and more seasonal variation, therefore the need for aggressive behaviors was greater. The Rodrigues solitaire also had more developed wings, stronger pectoral muscles, and knobs in their wings that helped in territorial disputes, and fractures in their bones suggested they fought more frequently.

    7. The disappearance of the Rodrigues Solitaire coincides with the tortoise trade. As humans came to the island to collect tortoises, they burned vegetation and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8. Most of the subfossil bones found for the dodo came from the Mare aux Songes swamp.

    9. It was first thought that the tambalacoque numbered only 13 in 1973 due to the extinction of the dodo. It was thought that the seeds of the tree would only germinate if it went through the digestive tract of the dodo. However, it was found that the seeds were also eaten by other species, and had germinated without the dodo. It was also estimated that the population of the tree was several hundred, not 13.

    10. It has been suggested that the broad-billed parrot depended on the dodos and the Cylindraspis tortoise to eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds, which would them become food for the parrots.

    11. After the disappearance of the dodo, descriptions of the red rail were often called dodos, suggesting the name had been transferred to the red rail. Though accounts claim the dodo was around as late as 1681, their descriptions match that of the red rail instead. Therefore, there are debates as to when the dodo became extinct.

    12. After the arrival of humans, many of the species endemic to the island became extinct. Most of the forests have been lost from deforestation, the ecosystem is badly damaged, and the surviving animals are considerably threatened.

  132. Peter Schacht says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.

    2. it was thought to be another species when it was actually just albino, with different plumage.

    3. Historically, it points to the species being taxonomically related.

    4. The dodo was larger in body but shorter than the solitaire.

    5. There are no living specimens to observe and have not been for many years. This was before the invention of photos and eye witness accounts are the only source for an idea as to what it looked like.

    6. The dodo had fewer restrictions for resources, meaning it could go anywhere without worry of predators.

    7. The trading of turtles; tortoise traders caused the solitaires habitat to disappear by burning, as well as hunting down the birds themselves.

    8. Most of the remains found of dodos came from there, which leads people to believe that it was its ideal habitat.

    9. The dodo tree went extinct roughly around the time that the dodos went extinct, showing that there may be a correlation to the two species. It was believed that the dodos digestion was important for the germination of the plant, but it has been disproven since then.

    10. The broad-billed parrot and the tortoise may have been dependent on dodos to eat fruits and poop out the seeds. This was before the introduction of livestock, which took over that job from the dodos.

    11. The red rail was mis-drawn as a possible dodo, which has skewed the actual extinction date far from what it should have been originally.

    12. On a secluded island like this, it is possible that human inhabitance may be the cause for more species to go extinct. The dodo was a cornerstone species for the island, and since it has disappeared, it is possible that it will take other dependent species with it.

  133. Krista Waller says:

    1. Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first in 1662 and the Rodriques solitaire went extinct in 1778.

    2. Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The third species of raphine is now considered to be an ibis because while there were depictions of dodo’s on the island of Reunion, but no fossils referable to dodo-like birds were ever found on Reunion.

    3. Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the dodo because they both evolved to being flightless. The giant pigeon has had usable DNA found, while the dodo has not, so studying the pigeon may help us better understand the dodo and its relatives.

    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The dodo may have been larger. From what has been found it was more robust, and from limited descriptions the dodo were almost a meter tall and weighing up to 23 kilograms, while the Rodriques solitaire was said to be the size of a swan.

    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of both of these birds because there is very limited information. No complete fossils have been found and a lot of what these birds look like are based on descriptions from hundreds of years ago and may not be completely reliable.

    6. Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    First the environment the dodo lived in received more rain and had a more stable climate so there was probably less need for fighting over territory. Also in the Rodriques solitaire, fractures in wing bones were found, maybe meaning they used them in combat.

    7. What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Their extinction happened around the time of the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. During this time traders burnt off vegetation and hunted solitaires. They also released cats and pigs that preyed on the solitaires eggs and chicks.
    8. What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The Mare aux Songes swamp is important to the studies of the dodo because this is where most subfossil material has been found.

    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The tambalacoque, or the dodo tree, was said it went coextinct due to the extinction of the dodo due it being believed that the seed of this seed was only able to germinate after being digested by the dodo. It has been shown though that it was not only the dodo that was able to get these seeds to germinate.

    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    It has been suggested that the broad-billed parrot may have depended on dodos and the tortoises, as they ate palm fruits and excreted their seeds, which then became food for the parrots.

    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    First drawing of the red rail were misinterpreted as dodo species, and also after 1662 the name “dodo” was used when referring to the red rail, which would obviously lead to confusion.

    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The island of Mauritius is very isolated and due to this biodiversity is fairly low leading to low evolutionary pressure from other species. So when these animals are faced with new pressures these species do not adapt well.

    13. Is the Dodo really extinct?
    Yes the dodo is really extinct. A specimen has not been found in hundreds of years and since they were declared extinct in 1662 the probability that they are gone is pretty good.

    14. How might you propose to resurrect the Dodo?
    If one was to resurrect the Dodo I would recommend the use the same technology that they want to use to bring back the passenger pigeon. If the dodo was brought back though, it would most likely have to stay captive or very isolated because for the reason it went extinct, it is not evolved enough to handle predators.

  134. Colby Happer says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitare.
    2) A potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because 17th century paintings depicted it as a white, flightless bird. However, this was incorrect and the bird depicted in the painting was likely an albino, a juvenile, or was just rendered incorrectly by the artist.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology because the two have similar anatomy and are actually in the same taxonomic family. This means that studying the giant pigeon can reveal things about the dodo’s biology and evolution.
    4) Though there is limited evidence, it appears the Rodriques solitaire was probably bigger.
    5) It’s hard to physically describe the natural appearance of the dodo and the Rodriques solitare because they are both extinct and they existed in a time when “science” was not as developed and people didn’t record much. Everything we know about how these species looked comes from written descriptions or artist renderings, both of which are subjective.
    6) It appears the Rodriques solitare was highly territorial but the dodo was less so for a few reasons. First, the Rodriques solitaire’s habitat was dry and that is consistent with territorialism because there must have been competition for resources. Also, Rodriques solitaire remains have shown wing and other bone fractures, which indicate fighting and aggression.
    7) The tortoise trade happened in the same area as the habitat of the Rodriques solitaire. The trade brought hunters and other people to the area and these people burned habitat, hunted solitaires, and released cats and pigs that heavily preyed on chicks and eggs. This contributed to the Rodriques soliaires’ extinction.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant to studies of the dodo because the majority of dodo subfossil material was found there. This indicates that dodo birds liked to live there, and this provides insight to the kinds of habitat conditions they preferred.
    9) The controversy is that the dodo ate the seeds from the dodo tree (the Tambalacoque) and the seeds germinated as they passed through the digestive tract. The number of trees declined around the same time the dodo birds went extinct. This led researchers to believe the two may have been linked, and that the Tambalacoque depended on the dodo birds for seed dispersal.
    10) The foraging ecology of the dodo might be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindaraspis tortoise because the dodo would eat the fruit and then the parrot would eat the residual seeds.
    11) The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo because in the past, these terms have been used interchangeably to describe the same organism. This is not the case, though, and it has caused confusion about when they actually went extinct.
    12) The extinction of the dodos was only the tip of the iceberg because many other species have declined or gone extinct since. The dodo was not the only animal to go extinct on Mauritius because of human introduction. When humans alter environments, sometimes species cannot adapt fast enough.

  135. Daniel Molina says:

    1. The first Raphinae to go extinct was the Dodo.
    2. The potential third species of raphine now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis was due to the white coloration. This coloration was likely due to albinism, being bleached by a taxidermist, artist misrepresentation, or from the natural coloration of juveniles.
    3. The giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology because the dodo belongs to the pigeon/dove family, Columbidae, and its believed that the two species are related because of the fact that they are both large, flightless pigeons with similar anatomy.
    4. Based upon limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo in neck, legs, and robustness.
    5. It is difficult to describe the appearance of the Dodo or the Rodriques Solitaire because no specimens exist. Only bone records exist and there is very limited, if any, useful DNA that can be found from bones.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques Solitaire was territorial because it had developed knobs on its”wrists” which could be used for fighting. The intention of the fighting was most likely for resources; the Dodo did not have to fight.
    7. The tortoise trade caused an excess of burning and invasive species introduction to the Rodriques habitat and extra hunting also declined their population numbers.
    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songs swamp to the studies was that it contained a historical fossil account of many species including Dodos which could be interpreted to understanding landscape, climate, and biodiversity changes in assessing human impacts on the island.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the dodo tree is that the Dodo used to feed on the fruit of the tree and the process of passing through its digestive tract helped the seed germinate. Once the Dodos disappeared, the numbers of the regenerating trees also declined, almost to extinction.
    10. The diet of the Dodo was important to that of the Broad-billed parrot and similar to that of the Cylindraspis tortoises because they ate the fruit and passed the seeds that the parrot feeds on. Without passing the seeds, the parrot’s beak structure could not eat them.
    11. The red rail could potentially confuse the extinction dates for dodos because it has similar physical characteristics which could have led to a “cascade of error accumulation” by artist’s renditions of the dodo or red rail as the other.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the “tip of the iceberg” for Mauritian extinction because it pointed out how human impact has affected some native species. Using the studies done at Mare aux Songs, we have identified some of our impacts on the behavior of many species and their habitats. The dodo had no predators and was free to roam the land until humans came and introduced disease, alien species, hunting, burning, and exploitation. The dodo may not be the first and it definitely is not going to be the last species affected by our invasion to all lands.

  136. Tori Stevens says:

    1) The Rodriques solitaire went extinct in the late 18th century while the Dodo went extinct first with the last known sighting being in 1662.

    2) There was believed for a time to be a “white dodo” of Réunion island that now is known to actually be the Réunion ibis. This confusion came about from a journal published in 1646 by Willem Ysbrandtszoon Bontekoe that depicted a fat flightless bird on Réunion island that lacked any description of color. This journal also had an engraving of a dodo. Then in the 19th century paintings of white dodos created in the 17th century were found they were assumed to be the bird to be depicted. It was later released that this dodo-like bird was not found on Réunion island and was most likely the Réunion ibis.

    3) Viti Levu gaint pigeon is relevant because it to was a large flightless pigeon that is believed to have been related to crowned pigeons. Fossils of this bird were found on Fiji and is smaller than the dodo and the solitaire, but has similar biology and evolution. It is thought that like the dodo the Viti Levu gaint pigeon became large and flightless due to lack of mammalian predators.

    4) The dodo is thought to have been shorter and more robust than the solitaire.

    5) It is nearly impossible to exactly describe these flightless birds due to the limited documentation of the birds. The dodo was also never sketched or studied in the wild by an actual scientist so accounts come mostly from sailors. Many scientists believed the dodo to be a myth even. Many sketches and descriptions of the dodo and solitaire have contradictions and differences that make it hard to know which is the most accurate or reliable. Also some sketches show a fatty bird that may have been over fed captive birds instead of ones in the wild. So due to all this unreliability it is very difficult to really know.

    6) The solitaire appears to have been highly territorial due to the island of Rodrigues availability of resources that would have been affected by less rainfall and more seasonal variation than that of Mauritius. The solitaire also had stronger pectoral muscles and larger wings. Due to this it is believed that the solitaire was more aggressive.

    7) Extinction of Rodrigues solitaire coincides with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750. During the tortoise trade traders hunted and ate solitaire. Traders also altered the landscape by burning vegetation and introducing cats and pigs that preyed on the eggs and chicks of the solitaire.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is significance because this is where large amounts of subfossil material of the dodo have been collected. There has only been one specimen found outside of the Mare aux Songes swamp.

    9) The tambalacoque tree endemic to Mauritus in 1973 was believed to only have 13 left. The reason for its decline was hypothesized by Stanley Temple. Temple thought that the trees seeds would only germinate after it had passed through the dodo’s digestive tract and due to the extinction of the dodo the tambalacoque also had become almost extinct. Others believe that decline of the tree had been exaggerated or that the seeds had been distributed by other extinct animals that included the broad-billed parrot, fruit bats, and Cylindraspis tortoises. Two ecologists of the Islands discredit Temple’s hypothesis due to the fact the tree has germinated since the extinction of the dodo and numbers in the hundreds.

    10) The broad-billed parrot may have depended on the dodo and tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds that were food for the broad-billed parrot.

    11) After 1662 which is the believed last known observation of the dodo there are descriptions after this date of using the name “Dodo” and “Dodaers” when really the descriptions were the red rail. The name for the dodo and red rail were used interchangeably so for obviously reasons this could lead to confusion on the actual extinction dates of the dodo.

    12) The extinction of the dodo was only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because by 1710 when the Dutch left most of the large terrestrial vertebrates on Mauritius had become extinct. It is believed that the dodo may already have been rare on the island of Mauritius. On the island of Mauritius dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and crab-eating macaques had been introduced which would have preyed on and competed with many other species of the island resulting in not only the extinction of the dodo.

  137. Jessica McGettigan says:

    Jessica McGettigan – NATRS 454 – Fall 2015

    1) The Dodo did
    2) Because of miscommunication/misinterpretations in the recorded information of the species, also albinism played a role.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon was a smaller species that share similar characteristics, such as the inability to fly and island habitat.
    4)The Rodriques solitaire was
    5) The species went extinct, before videos or photographs were taken. This lead to descriptions from those who witnessed the animals, and artist’s interpretations of this. There are currently no taxidermized specimens of either species either, to infer their appearance to.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was noted as highly territorial by researchers. Skeletons showed knobs on their wrists and fractured wing bones (but this may be disease related). The dodo does not appear to be as territorial, and its skeleton reveals that the it most likely had weak pectoral/wing muscles.
    7) The tortoise trades destructed to the habitat, and led to introductions of cats and pigs (these species preyed upon eggs and chicks).
    8) Mare aux Songes swamp lead to many archaeological discoveries of the dodo.
    9) According to some scientist the seeds of “the dodo tree” needed to pass through the digestive tract of the dodo to allow germination to occur. This may not be accurate as there have been possible cases of the tree reproducing without the dodo. Also there is some thought that the seed can germinate after passing through the tract of any animal, not solely the dodo.
    10) The dodo and the tortoise ate palm seeds, and then excreted the seeds. These excreted seeds were then eaten by the broad-billed parrots.
    11) There was confusion over which species was which. There is some thought that the all dodo sightings after the 17th century were actually red rail sightings.
    12) The dodo extinction was just the beginning of the extinctions of the island, and was the first result of what happened to species of an isolated degraded habitat.

  138. Andrew Vaughan says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first before the Rodriques solitaire.

    2) It is now thought to be the Reunion Ibis because the older descriptions of the species matched that of fossils found on the island. The mix up originally came from a journal that was made in 1619 that people later mistaken as a Dodo, but no Dodo fossils have ever been found on the island

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the study of the Dodo because it is thought to have also been related to the Crowned Pigeon and remnants of this species has been found in Fiji. This may be the best way in the end to see DNA that is similar to the Dodo.

    4) In terms of size and weight the male Rodriques solitaire was taller and weighed more, but the Dodo was thought to be more robust.

    5) There is no real complete skeleton of either and all of the accounts that were made of these creators by people that saw them did not have preservation in mind and they did not even believe that things could go extinct so why go into detail about what they looked like. As well, today we have a lot better technology to photograph things. They as well did not have many places to take the animals to in captivity that would have led to more research being done on their appearance and functions.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire had less rainfall on the island they occupied than the Dodos had so there may have been less resources to go around. This would have caused the species to be more territorial and need to defend the resources they did have. This could have also been a reason why the males were so much larger than the females because they had to defend their territory.

    7) The tortoise trade brought people that hunted the solitaries and burnt their habitat that they lived in. They also brought along animals that helped the decline like cats, dogs and pigs, but the extinction is thought to have happened mainly from hunting.

    8) This is the location that some of the first subfossil Dodo remains are found and help show that the Dodos were maybe very concentrated in the areas that they considered their habitat. This could have easily led to their downfall when humans started hunting them, but also deforesting the areas trees.

    9) Temple thought that the “Dodo tree” was dying out because it needed the Dodos to germinate the seeds, but he did not look at an earlier study that showed that although rare the tree germinated without the Dodo just fine. He also was discredited for saying that there were only 13 trees left when there were hundreds of these trees.

    10) It is thought that this parrot relied on both the Dodo and the tortoise to eat palm fruit and release the seed that the parrot would eat. After the decline of these species it would have affected the parrot and made them go extinct as well.

    11) The Red Rail confuses dates with the Dodo extinction because they look very similar and come from an area that is pretty close to where the Dodos are from. After the Dodos went extinct people were seeing these birds and mistaken them for Dodos.

    12) It is just the tip of the iceberg because when people came they did not just hunt the Dodos but destroyed their habitats by deforestation. On an island you will also see species relying on each other more to preform niches and when there is such a quick change in the ecosystem creators can’t adapt and you see a mass extinction. As well diseases brought by animals that humans brought would have also led to the decline of several species.

  139. Shannon MacKenzie says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The appearance and behavior of the bird more closely match an ibis than a dodo. The subfossils discovered on the island belong to an ibis, rather than the dodo. The idea of a white dodo likely came from a single specimen, which is now suspected to have been either artificially colored, an albino, or a juvenile.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The location of the Viti Levu shows that flightless pigeons were not limited to the Indian Ocean. As a relative to the dodo, studying the Viti Levu giant pigeon can help us learn more about the divergence of the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Subfossils suggest the dodo was approximately a meter tall and possibly weighed 23 kg. The Rodriques solitaire weighed more, approximately 28 kg during the fat season, and was described as the size of a swan (which can reach 1.5 meters). From the weight and size approximation, at least the male Rodriques solitaire was larger than the dodo.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The specimens that remain are incomplete or in poor condition. There seems to be wide variation in size, and historical accounts are not consistent or detailed enough to accurately piece together descriptions of the birds.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitaire was described as antisocial, and was observed to use its wings in combat with other members of its species. Resources on the island Rodriques are scarcer than on Mauritius, which would have encouraged more intraspecies competition among the birds on Rodriques. The abundant resources on Mauritius might have allowed the dodo to be more social. Additionally, the weak pectoral muscles and the reduced wing size in the dodo indicate that its wings were unsuited to combat.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Tortoise traders came to the island in search of tortoises, and in the process they burnt off vegetation, hunted the bird, and imported animals who preyed on and competed with the Rodriques solitaire.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Most of the subfossil remains of the dodo have been discovered in the Mare aux Songes swamp. Few dodo specimens remain, so the swamp specimens expand the material available for research.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It was proposed that consumption by dodos was necessary for the seeds of the tree to germinate; therefore, no more dodos meant no more trees. However, the reported numbers of the tree vary from 13 to 100, and specimens are reported to have germinated since the extinction of the dodo. Dr. Temple’s research was flawed in that it lacked a control group, so it has been dismissed by the Botanical Society of America.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad-billed parrot is suspected to have consumed the hard nuts left behind after the dodo and the Cylindraspis consumed soft fruit. Once the tortoises and the dodos were gone, there was no one to extract the seeds for the parrots.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Around 1662 dodo and red rail were used interchangeably, which means that it is possible that “dodo” sightings were actually sightings of red rails. It is possible that the last sighted dodo in 1681 was actually a red rail, as the bird’s behavior matches known red rail behaviors.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The dodo was such a charismatic bird that its sudden disappearance has received a great deal of attention. Many other species on Mauritius followed the dodo, though they did not receive as much attention, including seven of eight parrot species endemic to the Mascarenes. The extinction dodo shows the effect drastic effect that humans can have on closed environments; the island fauna of Mauritius were not prepared to deal with the sudden increase in competition and predation that the humans introduced.

  140. rebeccabruns says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? The Dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)? After looking at its colors and biological features it is assumed that Raphus solitarius was actually reunion ibis in disguise. The two were too similar not to be related
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon). Viti Levu was useful in studying the dodo because it is highly likely that they are taxonomically related.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae). Rodriques solitare was taller but we don’t know which one was heavier. So the dodo was like a hobbit and the Rodriques solitare was like a dwarf
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? We don’t have any physical specimens and they went extinct before cameras were invented. We have had to rely on written accounts, sketches, fossils and what their probable relatives look like.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so? It is hypothesized that the dodo had more resources to begin with so naturally evolved to be less territorial. It is believed that the dodo had a lot more resources at its disposal and wasn’t fighting as hard as rodriques for survival.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire? Since the disapearence coincided with the tortoise trade it is likely the two are connected. Tortoise traders burned Rodriques habitat and introduced new predators like cats and pigs which fed on the birds and their eggs.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo? An initial dodo skeleton was found followed by multiple others. This implies that this location was conducive to dodo survival. May be site of origin for dodo?
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)? People debate on if dodo birds affected the reproduction of Tambalacoque trees, a tree located in the Mare aux Songes swamp. The species as a whole is dying out and some of the oldest trees date back to a time when the dodo was still alive. Therefore people believe the dodo may have aided in the trees reproduction by breaking open the trees seed and eating them. The bird’s stomach acids may have awakened the seed from dormancy allowing the tree to reproduce. Since the dodo is dead the tree may die as well. Others believe the trees seeds were actually transported by extinct tortoises and parrots and that it is not going to die out.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises? The broad billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoise may have eaten seeds digested and excreted by the dodo bird.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo? Many old texts use red rail and dodo interchangeably which gets rather confusing.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius? Mauritius is an island which means it is very isolated from the rest of the world. This could also mean that it is sheltered in some ways. As humans arrive on the island they will spread the destruction (muhahahaha) as these species are so well adapted to their own habitat they may be resistant to change.

  141. Aleks Prosken says:

    1) The Dodo appears to have gone extinct first.
    2) The potential third species is considered to be a combination of a misidentification of the Reunion Ibis, and a potentially juvenile specimen that was either an albino individual, or had bleached plumage and was the inspiration for 17th century paintings.
    3) Taxonomic study indicates these species are related in their evolutionary history.
    4) The evidence suggests that the Dodo may have been taller, but both species exhibited a wide weight range, and the Solitaire in particular appears to have exhibited a great diversity in size between the genders.
    5) It is difficult to describe the physical characteristics of either species as both have been extinct for a long period of time, predating much of the interest in species description and classification. Skeletal remains, paintings and descriptive journal entries are all that remain to describe either species of bird.
    6) The Dodo possessed weak pectoral muscles, and lived in a much more stable and wet climate than the Solitaire. In addition, while evidence of healed fractures is commonly found in the wings of the Solitaire, and the behavior of buffeting each other with their wings to settle a dispute was recorded in observation, neither is noted or apparent in the records of the Dodo.
    7) When humans arrived to harvest tortoises, they burnt off the vegetation which likely provided habitats for either the Solitaire or its food sources. Humans also brought with them domesticated species such as cats and pigs which further damaged the life cycle of the Solitaire through predation and further destruction of their food sources and (likely) breeding, feeding, and roosting areas.
    8) This region has a very high concentration of Dodo remains.
    9) It was initially thought that the rarity of this tree was caused by the extinction of the Dodo; that the tree required the Dodo to eat the fruits and have the seeds pass through the digestive tract in order to germinate. It has since been shown that the seeds can germinate without first being eaten, and the consideration that the tree required the Dodo specifically would be difficult to determine – the tree’s rarity could be exacerbated by the combined extinction of multiple species. And, the rarity of the tree itself has been contested as well.
    10) It is thought that the broad-billed parrot required the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise to consume the palm fruits native to their island in order for the excreted seeds to become an available food source for the parrot.
    11) The common name of the Dodo appears to have been transferred to the red rail after the Dodo became rare or even after the Dodo became extinct.
    12) The extinction of the Dodo was the ‘tip of the iceburg’ because it is the most widely known species from this island, and stands as an example of what happens to species that inhabit an island, and have evolved over time without mammalian predators when humans arrive and begin to change the landscape and release the multitude of species that accompany them.

  142. John Miller says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first
    2) Because the third species was actually found to be an albino with juvenile plumage – and not fit with the raphine genus.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology because they appear to share a common ancestor in their lineages – thus offering a chance to learn about the extinct species through their living relatives.
    4) Based on the limited evidence, it appears the Dodo was shorter and sturdier than the Solitaire, but the solitaire possibly weighed more making size comparison difficult between the two species because of limited data ranges and varied measurements.
    5) It is difficult to describe the physical appearance of these two species because the only indicators present are sketches and first-hand accounts from before their extinction – as well as the fossil record and what can be extrapolated through bone/DNA examination as well as comparison to living relatives.
    6) It would appear their difference in habitat could explain the difference in territoriality. The solitaire inhabited a place where resources were significantly more scarce when compared to the Dodo’s habitat. In response to the scarcity, solitaires were mere territorial in defending their resources in order to survive and reproduce.
    7) The tortoise trade brought humans and habitat destruction to the solitaire. They burned and directly destroyed habitat, they hunted the solitaire, and released cats and pigs which served as un-natural completion and predation that the solitaire couldn’t keep up with.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp was where the first and many subsequent dodo remains were found, indicating it was once a suitable Dodo habitat.
    9) The remaining Tambalacoque trees are estimated to be approximately 300 years old (close to the time Dodo’s went extinct) and it was believed that the species had a mutualistic relation in which the seeds of the Tambalacoque tree required the dodo to ingest the seed and remove its seed coat to germinate and disperse the trees – however recent research suggests tortoises are also able to do this.
    10) Broad billed parrots in theory relied upon the dodo and tortoise to provide them food. The dodos and tortoises would eat palm fruits from trees and after passing the seeds, the broad billed parrot would then consume these seeds.
    11) Historically the terms red rail and Dodo re used interchangeably throughout literature records, making it difficult to determine which species is being referred to.
    12) The extinction of the Dodo is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg on Mauritius because Mauritius is an isolated area home to many endemic species with a unique ecosystem and habitats devoid of mammalian predators. This isolation and fragility makes it extremely vulnerable to human settlement bringing exotic plant and animal species including predators like rats and cats, disease, and habitat destruction to the island. Furthermore, the extinction of one species holds effect on other species of the island, creating a functional hole in the ecosystem that is not easily filled. Simply put, the ecosystem of Mauritius like many other isolated ecosystems cannot easily handle rapid changes brought about by human settlement .

  143. Daniel Townsend says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodrigues solitare.
    2) The Reunion ibis was thought to be a raphine species originally due to historical physical descriptions comparing it to dodos, but fossil records have proved that this was an ibis.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they are believed to share a common ancestor and can be used to determine where species diverged evolutionarily.
    4) The dodo was more robust and shorter with a shorter neck and legs.
    5) They are difficult to physically describe because we have no complete specimens of them and have to rely on historical accounts.
    6) The dodo was probably less territorial than the Rodrigues solitare because their habitat received more rain and had a more stable climate meaning they had to fight less for resources. The solitaire was also found to have knobs and spurs on their wings that were used for fighting.
    7) The Rodrigues solitaire went extinct around the time when the trade of tortoises started. Traders on the island destroyed habitat, hunted, and introduced species that wiped out the bird.
    8) Many dodo subfossils have been found in this swamp that can be used to study the species.
    9) It was hypothesized that this tree species required the dodo to eat the fruit and pass the seed in order for germination to occur. It is being argued that there probably are other extinct species that may have had the same relationship, and also that introduced species may be causing its decline.
    10) The broad-billed parrot is thought to have eaten very hard seeds that would first be required to pass through the digestive tract of the tortoise and the dodo.
    11) There were many late 17th century descriptions of the dodo that may have actually been the red rail.
    12) It is only the tip of the iceberg because this island has evolved without any terrestrial mammals. After the arrival of humans, hundreds of species are threatened due to habitat destruction and competition with introduced species.

  144. Michael Jewett says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Fossils show it is more likely the Reunion ibis when compared to descriptions of the bird. The confusion is due to its white coloration, likely due to albinism, an artist’s interpretation, bleaching by taxidermists, or juvenile age.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    It shows that flightless birds were not limited to the indian ocean, and its physiology and ecological context can help us learn more about the divergence into the Rodriques solitaire and the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    By descriptions the Rodriques solitaire is larger, like swan size. Larger than the 1m dodo.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The inaccuracy of historical accounts, bad specimens to work with, and a variation in size among the species.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitaire was observed fighting with its own species with wings, likely due to the scarcer resources in their island. The dodos seemed more social and their small wings would be pitiful in fighting situations.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Hunting and the burning of vegetation as a result of turquoise miners would have dramatically impacted the bird.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp is the home of many of the fossils used to study the bird, and it provides good specimens at a high density that can increase our understanding of the species.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The physiology/ecology of the two species suggests that the tree could be dependant on the dodo for successful germination, or at least is immensely impacted by the bird, and the age of trees around now correlates with the disappearance of the dodo. However, no conclusive result had been drawn.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad-billed parrot might have consumed seeds that the dodo and tortoise had already eaten, digested, and excreted.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The use of these terms interchangeably in old texts makes differentiating the species and associated dates difficult.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The island evolved without terrestrial mammals, so after humans got there and soon after many introduced species, the habitat destruction and competition among species threatens a lot of species. Making the dodo the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

  145. Phoebe chuang says:

    1) Dodo, around mid-1600s, while the Rodriques solitaire went extinct around 1700s.
    2) It all started with poor description and recording of newly-discovered wild species and a few incorrect assumptions. A man recorded the presence of a fat flightless bird in his journal and named it “dod-eersen”, then the content was published with a picture of a dodo that they thought matched the description in the journal (which turned out to be not the case).
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to dodo biology and evolution because it proves that similar evolutionary processes which happened to the dodo had also occurred to another species. The reason being that the Viti Levu giant pigeon was related to the crowned pigeon, resided on an isolated island, and was about the same size as the dodo (which were also related to the crowned pigeon and were from the island of Mauritius).
    4) According to the size measurements listed at the Description section of the Raphinae wikipedia page, the dodo may been smaller due to their highest estimated weight being 51 lbs while the weight of a male Rodriques solitaire was up to 62 lbs.
    5) Because there are no complete dodo or Rodriques solitaire specimens that exist for us to physically examine its natural appearance.
    6) The dodo might appear to be less territorial than Rodriques solitaire because of its more stable climate which resulted in more resources on the island of Mauritius for dodo compared to Rodrigues solitaire’s island.
    7) The tortoise trade that occurred between 1730 and 1750 might have caused the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire due to the damage done to the habitat during the tortoise hunts and the invasive species
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant to dodo studies because it is where the most subfossil records of the dodo were found. It also provided information of what type of habitat dodo resided in and what kind of trees had been in the habitat. Moreover, low reproduction rates of dodo had been hypothesized due to the individual dodos discovered in the Mare aux Songes swamp (no juveniles).
    9) The controversy surrounds the hypothesized symbiotic relationship between the Tambalacoque and the dodo. Temple hypothesized that in order for the Tambalacoque seeds to germinate, they would need to be digested by dodos and the stomach acid would help break down the hard shell these seeds have. He predicted that the species would be following dodo’s steps to extinction soon given the loss of dodos and its small remaining population. However, a report in the 1940s showed that the seeds actually can germinate without going through a dodo’s digestive tract. Temple’s hypothesis and view was therefore rejected.
    10) Because the palm seeds are food for Broad-billed parrots, they might have relied on dodos and the Cylindraspis tortoises to break up the palm fruits in order to get to the seeds.
    11) It is because some of the descriptions about red rail after 1662 referred to it as the dodos. Therefore the last account referring to the dodo might have been the red rail around the 1680s, which is past the official extinct date of the dodo.
    12) Although the dodo is the most known species that went extinct on Mauritius, there were a lot of other animals that also suffered the same fate. It appears that most of large terrestrial vertebrate species also became extinct, most likely due to the occupation of Dutch from 1598 to 1710.
    Personally, I cannot agree more with the view which we were the ones that did not adapt to the environment on the island of Mauritius. Although the dodo has been portrayed as an “unfitted” and “dumb” animal, it was us that ended up causing the extinction because we did not know better back then. What I learned here will definitely help me recognize my own arrogance and ignorance that sometimes comes with being human.

  146. 1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first in 1693 while the Rodriques went extinct sometime in the 1730’s.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Initially, artistic interpretations showed this species to be a white dodo, but upon looking at the genetics, it was shown to not be as closely related as previously believed.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Looking at the genetic and evolutionary evidence, these two species were potentially related and thus had similar biological functions.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Some evidence points to the Rodriques solitaire being larger than the Dodo based on weight, but little is actually known about the average sizes of both.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Because these two species have been extinct for so long, the only pictoral evidence we have are those given by artists or from written descriptions, making it difficult to tell exactly what these two species looked like. Fossils can give a general idea and add to our knowledge on the appearance of both species.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    Because the resources in the areas that the Rodriques lived were less abundant than those where the dodo was found, the Rodriques had to develop more territorial behaviors to protect limited resources while this was not necessary for the Dodo.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade instigated the extinction of the Rodriques because the traders would burn the natural vegetation that made up the habitat and brought new predators that would prey on the bird.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Many Dodo fossils have been found here, showing that this was most likely the habitat type that they preferred.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    This tree species went extinct right around the time that the Dodo did, pointing to the idea that the Dodo was important to the survival of the Tambalacoque. It is believed that part of the reproductive process of the tree involved the seeds going through the digestive tract of the Dodo.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    These parrots might have relied on the dodos and tortoises to consume palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which the parrot would then consume.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail looks similar to the dodo, and it is believed that the sightings in the late 17th century of dodo birds were actually of the red rail.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius? Because Mauritius is an isolated island, the species here evolved for a habitat with few predators (thus their flightlessness and large size). Once humans entered the picture and proceeded to affect the habitat on the island and introduce invasive species and predators, many species were unable to survive under these new conditions.

  147. Kolton Grimm says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    dodo
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Because of its coloring and that it’s the only “evidence” of a dodo on Reunion.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is related to the Victoria crowned pigeon, which is closely related to the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    solitaire
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The only idea about their appearance we have is an assortment of drawings and descriptions that differ greatly from each other.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The island of Rodrigues receives significantly less rainfall and has more seasonal variation than Mauritius, making aggressive behavior a means to compete for more scarce resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade is what brought an influx of humans to the island.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    It’s found on Mauritius and preserved most of the fossils of dodos existing today.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Someone claimed that the seeds of the dodo tree would only germinate if they passed through a dodo’s digestive tract, and so was going extinct because the dodo was extinct. He was written off as having overlooked reports of dodo trees germinating without going through an animal, and of claiming there were only 13 when there are actually hundreds.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    All three species are suspected to have eaten the fruit of the dodo tree, and distributed successful seeds.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The two names were accidentally used interchangeably to describe both species, and so reports of dodo sightings could have mistakenly actually been red tails.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    It is only so well known because of its amusing appearance, they are not the only island species to go extinct. The species there are still threatened today, by humans, as countless are across the planet.

  148. Vanessa Beck says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? The Dodo went extinct first which was sometime in the 1600s.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)? The behaviors of solitarius were found to be very similar to that of the ibis. On Reunion island there was no evidence of any Dodos but later on evidence / fossils from the ibis were found on the island.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon). The pigeon and the dodo both are crown pigeons and their physiology are very similar as well. The information and findings of the pigeon were found on Fiji which led to more connection and evidence with the dodo.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae) It is hard to come to a final conclusion due to little evidence, but the Dodo is thought to be shorter with a larger head and beak. The weight of a Dodo is said to be between 10 and 21 kilograms, but the solitarius is estimated to be about 28 kilograms for males.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? There are little fossils that have been recovered and even littler preserved tissue. With only a preserved head and foot, there is not much to go off of when compiling the physical appearances of the two birds.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so? The solitaire had more need to be competitive due to the weather and climate of the seasons. The solitaire is also assumed to have been physically stronger which indicates that the bird had to build muscle for competition and fighting.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire? In the 1700s humans were drawn to the island in which they destroyed the habitat on the island and hunted solitaire. Other predators were also introduced such as cats that hunted the birds.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo? The swamp is where most of the Dodo remains have been found. About 300 or more individual dodo remains have been found in the swamp. The swamp gives biologists a better idea of what kind of habitat the dodo preferred and the added information that no young dodo bird remains were found in the swamp area. This could mean that the feeding areas and the nesting areas were at a good distance away from each other.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)? One theory suggests that the seeds from the Tambalacoque were to pass through the dodo’s digestive system in order to germinate and grow. This is controversial and untrue, because recent evidence says that seeds are able to germinate through other forager’s digestive systems.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises? The dodo and the tortoise ate palm fruits and digested them leaving the seeds in their fecal matter. The parrots would eat the seeds and aided in the dispersal of the tree populations.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo? The last known record of a dodo was described through the bird calls, but the descriptions resemble that of the red rail causing confusion of the actual date of when the birds became extinct.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius? The species evolved without any interference of humans or introduced predators since they are located on an island. Without the adaptation abilities that most species obtain when other species are introduced to ecosystems or humans interfere, the Mauritius may not have the ability or strength to adapt to those changes causing a decline in the species.

  149. Katelynn Piazza says:

    1. The dodo went extinct before the Rodrigues solitaire.
    2. The physical appearance and defined form/function is more similar it is considered to be more closely related to the ibis than solitarius.
    3. The Viti Levu is thought to be a close relative of the dodo, being of similar physiology.
    4. According to Wikipedia, the average Rodrigues solitaire was both taller and larger than the average dodo.
    5. No entirely preserved specimen exists of either the solitaire or the dodo. As such it is up to artists to reconstruct from limited fossil evidence what the creatures may have looked like in their living form.
    6. It was noted that Rodrigues solitaire had knobs on their “wrists” which potentially served to help them in fights. Evidence suggests that resources in their habitat may have dwindled or fluctuated more so with seasonal changes than the dodos ever experienced, leading it to be an adaptive benefit to be more aggressive over territory and resources.
    7. The tortoise traders introduced non-native fauna such as pigs, cats and rats to Mauritius. These creatures likely preyed on the birds and damaged the ecosystem in addition to the direct damages by the traders when they burned vegetation.
    8. The swamp studies uncovered a large number of the fossil specimens currently possessed for the dodo bird.
    9. It was believed that the tree relied on the dodo’s gullet to crack and thus spread the seeds, and thus the decline in the dodos led to the decline in the tree. However, evidence suggests that tortoises or parrots (which are since extinct) may have played a larger role in propagating the spread of the seed.
    10. The dodos and the tortoises may have eaten the fruit and excreted the seeds, leaving the seeds for the parrots to forage on.
    11. The red rail and the dodo are scientifically considered to be two different species, however historically on record they are used interchangeably, making it difficult to discern which species is actually being discussed.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was just one of many extinctions driven by human forces.

  150. Yessica Carnley says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) The bird which was thought to be a third species turned out be either an albino, a young bird displaying age dimorphism meaning that the light plumage informed adults it was juvenile, it could have also been a result of bleaching of old taxidermy specimens, or simply due to artistic license.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon species is relevant to studies of dodo evolution and biology by the fact that both of the birds had a common ancestor and they both experienced some similarities with Foster’s rule.

    4) Based on the limited evidence the Dodo was slightly shorter and more robust than the Rodrigues solitaire. The Rodriges solitaire on the other hand was taller.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the Dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire by the fact that both species have been extinct for a few hundred years, no taxidermist ever made a stuffing of either specimen, and no cameras were around at the time to take pictures of the birds.

    6) It appears that the Rodrigue solitaire was highly territorial compared to the Dodo by the fact that evidence from their bones show that they used their wings in intra-specific combat. When comparing the Dodo bones it shows that they had smaller wings and smaller pectoral muscles.

    7) The extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire indirectly coincided with the tortoise trade by the fact that humans burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires, and released cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to the study of the Dodo is because a large amount of fossil have been collected from the swamps.

    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” the Tambalacoque is from the fact that it was hypothesized that the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century, ate tambalacoque fruits, and only by passing through the digestive tract of the dodo could the seeds germinate. The was a big deal from the fact that the Tambalacoque tree was though to be in great decline.

    10) It is suggested that the dodos preformed a function by ingesting seeds. The seeds would pass through their digestive track which extracted them from their hard outer shells and making them available to eat to Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises.

    11) The red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo because sightings of the red rail bird where confused for the dodo.

    12) The extinction of the dodo was the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because the island is home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals. And since human habitation and the introduction of non-native species can and have threatened its indigenous flora and fauna which has lead to the extinctions of endemic species.

  151. Jesse Wells says:

    1. The dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire, which later succumbed to extinction as well.

    2. There was a description of a bird on Réunion that had similar traits to dodo, but it was not mentioned that that they were white and the journal that this description was published in was accompanied by an engraving of a dodo. Later on, there were 17th century paintings discovered of white dodos and the connection between those descriptions and the paintings was made. The original painting of a white dodo was likely due to the painter having encountered an albino specimen, that it perhaps due to bleaching of a taxidermy specimen, or that the light plumage was a juvenile trait. It was later discovered that the descriptions were most likely of an extinct species of ibis that had previously inhabit Réunion and were not of a white species of dodo.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was similar physically to the dodo despite their different geographical locations and they were likely related through the crowned pigeons.

    4. The Rodrigues solitaire is thought to have been taller than the dodo, which was thought to have been shorter and more robust.

    5. There has never been a complete skeleton discovered and the plumage and coloration of the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire are not well known. Illustrations and written descriptions are the only evidence for what the dodo might have looked like. These illustrations and descriptions may not be completely accurate either due to the fact that many of these are depictions of captive individuals that may not have been healthy specimens.

    6. There is evidence that the Rodrigues solitaire used their wings in combat over territory due to the presence of knobs on their wrists, which is indicative of the wings being used as weapons. Dodos likely did not fight in this manner because they had weaker pectoral muscles and reduced wings. It has been theorized that this difference in competitive nature could have been due to the island of Rodrigues having varying amounts of resources in comparison to Mauritius where the dodo lived.

    7. The tortoise trade brought hunters into the area between 1730 and 1750, who burned off the vegetation on the island and hunted down solitaires, while also importing animals such as cats and pigs that preyed on the solitaire young and eggs.

    8. The majority of the dodo remains that have been found were found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, which suggests that it was a habitat well suited for dodo habitation.

    9. It was thought that the population of tambalacoque was declining because the tree relied on dodos to spread its seed. However, it has been found that this relationship may have been somewhat exaggerated and that other species such as tortoises and bats are more important for spreading the seed. It has also been theorized that the decline of these trees, while severe, may not be as bad as previously thought.

    10. It is possible that the Cylindraspis tortoises and dodos fed on palm fruit and then excreted the seeds from the fruit, which the broad-billed parrots relied on for food.

    11. The sightings of dodos in the late 17th century could have potentially been red rails because of their similar appearance and was simply a misidentification.

    12. The extinction of the dodo is just the “tip of the iceberg” because it shows the even animals that are well adapted to their environment may not be able to withstand sudden change, especially when humans are involved in that change. The flora and fauna of Mauritius is in danger as habitat destruction due to human activities and invasive species threaten the biodiversity of the island. The extinction of the dodo should be a wake up call to humanity. The biodiversity of the planet is under threat due to our activities and the dodo is just the beginning.

  152. Christina Cramer says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first around 1662, whereas the Rodrigues solitaire was believed to have become extinct in the late 18th century.

    2) A potential 3rd species of Raphinae is now considered to be the Reunion ibis because other paintings of white dodos surfaced leading researchers to conclude that this was just artist creativity, or possibly an albino.

    3) Genetic studies have placed the dodo in the pigeon and dove family, and that the giant pigeon is a close relative, which could provide insight on the biology and evolution of the dodo.

    4) With only one intact dodo specimen it is difficult to make clear distinctions between them and the Rodrigues solitaire, but with what limited evidence is available, the Rodrigues solitaire is bigger.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire because there is no specimens available and researchers only have historical documentation and artwork as a reference.

    6) It appears that the Rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial because their sternum had a keel and was known to fight each other with their wings, whereas the dodo’s sternum lacked a keel, indicating they fought less often.

    7) The tortoise traders brought non-native species to the area which competed with the Rodrigues solitaire for resources, as well as burning vegetation, which contributed to a loss of habitat. Additionally, it was thought that the tortoise trade led to the extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire because trade became popular around the same time of the birds extinction.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is where a majority of dodo fossils were found, and this particular area could provide additional information to researchers that other dodo locations may not be able to provide.

    9) The controversy with the dodo and the Tambalacoque was the belief that the dodo ensured the reproduction of the Tambalacoque by dispersing its seeds. However, recent research has suggested that other species were responsible for dispersing the seeds, not the dodo.

    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo might be linked to that of the extinct broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because researchers believe that the parrot relied on the tortoises and dodos to obtain clean seeds that have been excreted by them.

    11) The red rail might confuse extinction dates for the dodo because previous journals reference a bird, but it is unclear whether the bird they are referencing is the dodo or red rail.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because human-activities has already rendered many species extinct, and with human populations only getting larger, other species populations will continue to decline. Also, since Mauritius is an island it will be the most adversely affected by future climate-changes which will further threaten species.

  153. Konner Fleming says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) The physical features, such as coloration, of the “potential third species” indicated that the bird was likely Reunion ibis.
    3) Viti levu is relevant to dodo biology because of it being related to crowned pigeons.
    4) It is estimated that the Rodriques solitaire is larger than the dodo.
    5) Physical descriptions of the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire is difficult because of the lack of current resources to help identify and illustrate them. All illustrations and descriptions of these specimens are relatively old.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was anticipated to be more territorial than the dodo because of the resource availability on Mauritius. With these limiting factors, the Rodriques, in addition to their rearing habits, likely expressed more aggression in the form of territorial conflicts. As a result of these limiting factors.
    7) The extinction period for the Rodrigues solitaire (1730-1750) coincided with the tortoise trade. Both were causes of human disturbance and invasive species integration.
    8) The majority of fossils found have been within Mare aux songes swamps.
    9) The controversy regarding the “dodo tree” and the dodo is the concept that in order for the tree seeds to germinate, they were required to first pass through the digestive track of a dodo.
    10) It is hypothesized that the Broad-billed parrot fed on the droppings of dodo’s in order to eat their seeds.
    11) The visual similarities shared between red rails and dodos have resulted in the confusion regarding extinction dates for the dodo.
    12) The other species present on Mauritius have evolved in the context of the islands environment. Due to the changes introduced to the island from anthropogenic influences, other species present on the island will become extinct with time.

  154. Kristin Nolan says:

    1.
    The dodo went extinct before the Rodrigues solitaire.
    2.
    A potential third species of raphine was attributed to the rediscovery of contemporary accounts and paintings of white, dodo-like birds during the 19th century. Some of the paintings and descriptions were speculated to be based on a specimen with albinism or simply bad taxidermy. It was concluded that the “white dodo” was likely the Reunion ibis after fossils of this bird were described in 1987.
    3.
    The extinct Viti Levu giant pigeon is believed to be related to the crowned pigeons, the group thought to be most closely related to the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire.
    4.
    It is thought that the Rodrigues solitaire may have been larger than the dodo as it was taller and likely heavier.
    5.
    It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodrigues solitaire because no complete specimens of either species exist. Consequently, we can only extrapolate what they may have looked like using contemporary accounts and sketches/paintings.
    6.
    It is thought that the Rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial based on fractures in their wing bones and the presence of a knob on each wrist. All extant birds that possess these knobs use them as weapons. The dodo, in contrast, had weaker pectoral muscles and smaller wings than the Rodrigues solitaire, so it is unlikely that they used their wings in territorial disputes. Additionally, the island of Rodrigues experiences greater seasonal variation than Mauritius, which likely affected resource availability and indicates that the Rodrigues solitaire may have evolved to be more territorial than the dodo.
    7.
    The extinction of the Rodrigues solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1760. During this time, traders hunted solitaires, burned much of the vegetation, and brought with them domestic animals (cats and pigs) that preyed on solitaire eggs and chicks.
    8.
    Many dodo fossils have been recovered from the Mare aux Songes swamp on Mauritius.
    9.
    The controversy surrounding the dodo and “the dodo tree” began in 1973 when the dodo tree was thought to have dwindled to 13 living specimens. Stanley Temple proposed that the reason for the decline of the dodo tree was directly related to the extinction of the dodo. He believed that the dodo ate the fruits of these trees and that germination only occurred after the seeds passed through the digestive tract of the dodo. Temple tested his theory by force-feeding wild turkeys fruits from the dodo tree and planting any of the seeds recovered. However, he did not try to germinate any seeds from control fruits. Also, it is thought that the dodo tree may have relied on other extinct frugivorous species to disperse seeds as well and that the introduction of non-native species may have contributed to its decline.
    10.
    It is thought that the Broad-billed parrot fed on the seeds excreted by the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoise.
    11.
    It is believed that accounts of the dodo from the late 17th century can actually be attributed to the red rail, an extinct species that died out after the dodo.
    12.
    Because so many animals on Mauritius evolved in the absence of natural predators, they were especially vulnerable to hunting by humans. The introduction of animals like dogs, cats, rats, pigs, and macaques increased both predation and competition for finite resources. Additionally, the extinctions of some animals may have ultimately led to the extinctions of coevolved species.

  155. Jayln Schmitt says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) A potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius)is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because the coloration was more like the coloration found in the Reunion ibis.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was found to be quite similar to the dodo, having similar characteristics.
    4) The bird that may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire, is the Rodriques solitaire because it was slightly heavier and taller. (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there is limited images and fossils for scientists to use to describe them.
    6) It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so because the Rodriques solitaire had a larger wing probably for fighting.
    7) The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because there were a multitude of human disturbances and species released further leading to their extinction.
    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo is that fossils were found near it, but only those of young dodo’s. This could mean that it was a place for young dodo’s to find food or resources.
    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) is that they both had declining populations at the same time, but the “dodo tree” still exists today. An explanation for that could be that the dod’s dispersed the seeds from the tree and allowed them to grow, so when the dodo’s declined so did the tree.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo might be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the stool has seeds in it that the parrot would eat.
    11) The red rail potentially caused confusing extinction dates for the dodo because they were going extinct around the same time, and it is thought that some of the latest sightings could have actually been of the red tail, not the dodo.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because many other species have gone extinct as well. Most of them went extinct due to the human induced changes, such as bringing in other species.

  156. Kailee Theisen says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first

    2. The Reunion solitaire and subfossil ibis are commonly accepted to be identical. Also, no bones of the Dodo were found on the same island, discounting claims that the two were similar in appearance so they must be related.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is another very large and flightless bird found in fossils in Fiji, considered to be a distant relative of the crown pigeons, like the Dodo. It also went extinct.

    4. The Dodo had shorts necks and legs, but was more robust with a larger skull and beak than the Rodriguez solitaire.

    5. No complete specimens have been found to account for full external attributes such as plumage, so physical descriptions are highly based on written encounters between 1598 and 1662.

    6. The solitaire was more likely aggressively territorial because the climate of the Dodo was more stable so there was less need to fight. There solitaire also has highly fractured knobs on its wrists which are used as weapons in other birds without exception.

    7. The solitaire competed with the giant tortoise for food. Because the bird was limited by its crop size to provide crop milk, difficulty finding food could have increased the mortality of young depending on their parent’s nutrition.

    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is the location from which many fossils of the Dodo have been found. Based on the climate of this swamp, scientists can determine the preferred habitat of the Dodo.

    9. Some hypothesized that the tree had stopped regenerating because germination of the seeds was dependent on passing through the G.I. tract of the Dodo. This has been debated as other found that the tortoise would be a more likely to disperse seed. It has also been said that trees have since germinated after the Dodo’s disappearance and numbers of the remaining trees have been exaggerated.

    10. The remains of this parrot were first discovered among remains of Dodos from the Mare aux Songes swamp. It has been predicted that the parrot relied on the Dodo and tortoise for cleaned seeds as a main food source.

    11. Many have found that red tail sightings were mistaken as Dodos, making it difficult to determine when exactly the Dodo went extinct.

    12. This very isolated island was beaming with diversity as few predators pressured populations. The sudden introduction of humans and all their destructive glory quickly seemed to evaporate species as they had no time to adapt to the sudden pressures of habitat loss. The Dodo is just one of the many species lost to the ever trampling step of mankind, and symbolizes the fragility of populations, then and now.

  157. Abby Webb says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first in 1662 before the Rodriques solitaire went extinct in 1778.

    2) The potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because of its coloration. The species was thought to be albino, but the color was a cause of being a young juvenile and bleached over time while preserved.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they thought the bird was related to the Dodo and Rodriques solitaire, but the Viti Levu was slightly smaller than both species.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire was determined to be larger due to the mass height ratio because as the Dodo was seen as more robust, the Rodriques was taller in height.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because both species have been extinct for hundreds of years and we are solely relying on sketches and descriptions by people from long ago. There are no specimens of these birds either.

    6) It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the Dodo possibly less so because the Dodo lacked a keeled sternum. The keeled sternum found in the Rodriques solitaire was found to link to their aggressiveness when they would use their wings in combat.

    7) The tortoise trade led to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because during that time, the traders burned their habitats, hunted them, and released cats and pigs who preyed on the eggs and juveniles of the birds.

    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo is that this swamp was where most of the Dodo fossils were found. Scientists also believed that this swamp was a great representation of the type of habitat Dodos preferred.

    9) There was a controversy regarding the dodo and “the Dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum). The decline of “Dodo tree” was thought to be a cause of the extinction of the Dodo because these birds were relied on by the tree to germinate the seeds. It was discovered that the Dodo was not a necessary aspect for the tree to survive.

    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the Dodo is linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the Dodo and the tortoise would eat and spread megafauna seeds throughout the island for the parrot to then eat them.

    11) The red rail potentially confused extinction dates for the Dodo because they had similar physical characteristics, lived in similar habitats, and had similar behaviors to the Dodo.

    12) The extinction of the Dodo was only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because the anthropogenic influences are rapidly increasing to where extinctions are rapidly occurring on the island as well. Humans bring invasive species and many other changes to an island that the causes are irreversible.

  158. Jessica Mucha says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) It is considered more likely that this is the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires), because the descriptions focus on Reunion Island where no Dodo fossils or subfossils have been found. In addition, descriptions were all penned by non-scientists and accounts may be second hand. Furthermore, the description of white dodos could have been juvenile birds or perhaps an albino.
    3) It is another large, extinct, flightless, island dwelling pigeon and is thought to be related to crowned pigeons. This is a commonality it shares with the Dodo; however, its subfossil remains are found on Fiji. This indicates a divergence further back in time.
    4) From weight estimates it seems likely that at least some solitaires were larger than dodos. A top weight estimate of 28 kg, whereas the high-end estimates for dodos range from 21.1 to 23 kg.
    5) There are no photos of them, very few drawings, very minimal soft tissue remains, and contradictory descriptions.
    6) Extant remains of Rodrigues solitaire show evidence of wing fracture and they possessed carpal knobs on their wrists, which may have aided in territorial fights. The dodo had smaller wings and weaker pectoral muscles in comparison. In addition, there is less evidence of fractures during the lifespan of the dodo.
    7) Traders burnt fields, hunted solitaires, and imported cats, which attacked chicks and eggs.
    8) About 4200 years ago animals died there when attempting to cross to reach water. They got mired, trampled, etc. and thus subfossil remains of dodos and other animals have been found there.
    9) It was claimed the dodo tree needed the dodo for propagation and that it was dying out in the absence of the dodo. However, recent research indicates the dodo tree has adequate numbers quite a bit larger than the thirteen previously claimed.
    10) It is thought these species may have relied upon the seeds of the dodo tree passing through the dodo’s digestive system. It may be difficult or impossible for them to utilize this food source in the absence of the dodo.
    11) People would refer to red tails as dodos.
    12) Many species on Mauritius have gone extinct, especially birds, but also the flying fox, and a couple plant species.
    13) If enough DNA were found to provide a relatively complete genome, then missing fragments could be filled in with DNA from closely related species. However, is the cloned animal the same animal if DNA needed to be filled in? On the other hand, DNA technologies are always improving and it is possible that better preserved subfossils might be found with a more complete DNA sample available.
    14) Take an enucleated egg from a closely related species large enough to lay a dodo egg and replace the removed nucleus with the somatic DNA recovered from the dodo remains. This is assuming the DNA is complete enough to simply do so. At this point with the available remains more would need to be done to complete the genome. Thus, the end species would likely somewhere between the dodo and whatever species was used to fill in the gaps in the genome.

  159. Krista Renzi says:

    1.Dodos went extinct first
    2.The potential third species is now considered to be a part of the Reunion ibis because of the variability in its colors and other physical features.
    3.The Viti Levu Giant Pigeon in relevant to studies of Dodo biology because subfossils were found in Fiji and the Giant Pigeon was also a flightless bird around the same size as the dodo.
    4.The Dodos were shorter and more robust, while the Rodrigues were taller.
    5.It is physically difficult to describe the natural appearance of these birds because they are extinct, we only have drawings as primary sources, and no descriptions were done by scientists, just tourists.
    6.The dodo was probably less territorial because they did not have to compete for resources as much due to the climate in their location.
    7.The tortoises have a relationship with the extinction of the dodos because they lived with the dodos and once the humans came both the tortoises and the dodos went extinct.
    8.The swamp has a relationship to the studies od dodos because it has been a big source of subfossil material.
    9.The controversy regarding the dodo ant the dodo tree is that the tree may have relied on the dodos in order to disperse its seeds and reproduce.
    10.The diet of the dodo may be linked to the parrot and the tortoise in that the parrots depended on the dodos and the tortoises to eat the tree fruits and excrete the seeds for them to eat.
    11.The red rail potentially confused the extinction dates of the dodos because the descriptions after 1662 us the names “dodos” and “dodaers” when referring to red rails.
    12.The extinction of the dodos in the “tip of the iceberg” for extinction on Mauritius because the dodos were the main focus species of that extinction event.

  160. Jessica Wiley says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2. A potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its coloring.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because the giant pigeon is related to the Victoria crowned pigeon which is closely related to the dodo.
    4. Rodriques solitaire was larger.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there is little preserved remains of them since they have been extinct for years so it is up mostly to artists to describe them.
    6. It appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so because the bone structure of Rodrigue solitaire shows they were made for fighting while dodos had smaller bones.
    7. The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire by introducing non-native species that liked to prey on birds which was problematic for the Rodrigue solitaire.
    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo is the swamp is where the most dodo remains have been found.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” is it was believed that the tree was dependent on the dodo’s digestive system to germinate. Turns out that wasn’t true, the tree could be germinated by any animal that ingested the seeds.
    10. The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo could be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the dodos and tortoises would eat seeds and the process of going through their digestive system would soften the shells for parrots to eat.
    11. The red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo because both are flightless, sightless birds and looked similar meaning they could have been confused for each other causing discrepancy of when the last dodo sighting was.
    12. The extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because since then the island has evolved with the introduction of more humans. Over time more species have been threatened so the dodos extinction was only the tip of the ice berg.

  161. Laura A. Rafferty says:

    1. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was the first to go extinct but the Rodriques solitaire soon followed it.
    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered more likely to be the Reunion ibis because its initial identification was a false conjecture based upon crude drawings of a white dodo, which were not accurate to the real coloration of the dodo bird in other recordings of it.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was relevant to studies of dodo biology because it shared some similar anatomical features with the dodo.
    4. Evidence suggests that the dodo was a shorter than the Rodriques solitaire, but there is little evidence to state which bird was actually larger or weighed more.
    5. Since both birds have been extinct for many years (100+), it is hard to describe either appearance accurately and depictions are based upon hand drawings and even using skeletal remains one cannot fully account which non skeletal features each had.
    6. The dodo appeared to be less territorial because its sternum lacked a keel, unlike its relative which fought with its wings, suggesting the dodo fought less.
    7. The tortoise trade brought humans to the island where the Rodriques solitare existed and their habitat was destructed by burning forests and hunting and the introduction of predators from which the bird did not know how to defend itself from.
    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the dodo was that many remains of the dodo were found here, which also helped researchers to consider what habitat type was ideal for the dodo.
    9. The dodo tree is thought to have relied on the dodo bird’s digestion path in order to reproduce. Since dodos are thought to have eaten the seeds of this tree, scientists believe that the scarification process which could have occurred during digestion was needed for the tree’s seed to germinate.
    10. It is thought the Broad-billed parrot and Cylindraspis tortoises would consume the dodo’s excretions of seeds from palm fruits.
    11. Because of similarities in the appearance of the red tail and dodo bird, extinction dates for the dodo bird are confused.
    12. The extinction of the dodo bird only touches the surface of many other extinctions on Mauritius because the island had be isolated for many years without the pressures of predatory species and plentiful resources, not allowing evolutionary processes to occur through natural selection.

  162. Samantha M Branch says:

    1) The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2)The misconception has been attributed to an observance of an albino individual by sailors or artist’s creativity. It is now believed that the reunion ibis was much more colorful/ornately decorated than the raphine species.
    3)The anatomy and evolution history of the Viti Levu giant pigeon is very similar to the Dodo. Meaning that they may be some of the closest relatives to the Dodo allowing researchers to understand more about them.
    4)It is believed that the Rodriques solitaire was taller than the Dodo, however, the due to their large skull and beak it is believed the Dodo may have been the larger of the two when measured in mass.
    5) There are no soft tissues or photos of the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire available for study. This is due to the fact that they went extinct so long ago, and in such a short time after they were discovered by humans. The only available information are the descriptions given by the people of the time, and the recent discovery of the first complete Dodo remains.
    6)With large wings and knobs on its ankles the anatomical structure of the Rodriques Solitaire suggests that it was better prepared for defending its territory. In contrast the Dodo had much smaller wings.
    7) The tortoise trade had a large impact on the solitaire’s habitat. The traders burned Dodo territory, and released new predators to the Dodo into their ecosystem.
    8) The majority of Dodo fossils and remains that have been found were found here suggesting that the swamp was a preferred habitat for the Dodo.
    9)The controversy stems from the belief that the Dodo bird played a key role in the dispersal of the seeds of the dodo tree. If the Dodos were indeed responsible for the dispersal of the seeds their extinction could have a direct link to the decline of the dodo tree.
    10) It is believed that both the dodo and the tortoises would eat seed bearing fruits and then because they were unable to digest the seeds they would be passed, and the parrots would then eat them.
    11) The term dodo was commonly used for both species of bird, and the birds were similar in looks so the birds could be easily mixed up with the other one thus confusing the extinction dates.
    12) The dodo is one of the earliest examples of human influenced extinction. Many other species on Mauritius have gone extinct due to hunting and territory loss caused by humans in the same way the dodos did.

  163. Matt Heffner says:

    1) The dodo went extinct first by the year 1693, and the Rodriques in the 1700’s.
    2) There was an account that referenced dodo’s also on the island, and later a painting that shows dodo’s with the reunion ibis. But there have been no fossil records of dodo’s discovered on the island.
    3) It is relevant because it is another flightless large bird that lacked mammalian competitors and saw the same demise of extinction.
    4)The bodies were similar but the Rodriques may have been taller.
    5) It is difficult to completely describe the appearance of these birds because a complete specimen has yet to be found, and the recorded encounters with these creatures is limited.
    6) The Rodriques is thought to be more territorial than the Dodo due to weather fluctuations that may have limited resources.
    7) Around the time of the Rodriques extinction the tortoise traders were burning off vegetation and releasing cats and pigs, which preyed on young and eggs.
    8) It is believed that the dodo preferred the drier areas, and avoided the swamps to the south west portion of the island, limiting the southern range of the dodo to the east.
    9) It is debated whether the “dodo tree” required the dodo to eat the seeds and digest them in order to disperse and prepare them for germination, or if the tortoise may have been more influential to the tree.
    10) It is thought that the diet of the dodo may have overlapped with the broad-billed parrot and the cylindraspis tortoises. This overlap in diet stressed all the species as they all competed for food.
    11) The red rail was called a dodo in a few accounts, and a distress call was heard after the dodo had been thought to be extinct, but this same call was also made by the red rail. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the final account of a dodo.
    12) The island of Mauritius suffered from the hands of humans. There were many species which survived there with no predation for a very long time. With the introduction of predators came the demise of many species within Mauritius.

  164. Candace Smith says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first around the late 1600s, while the Rodrigues solitaire went extinct in the early 1700s.
    2) The first person to see the Reunion solitaire thought to be a close relative of the dodo because of its physical appearance. As did many scientists when viewing the descriptions and paintings, they called it the white dodo of Reunion for many decades. However, when unearthing the first fossils they were classified as a part of the stork family and only later did they conclude that these fossils could in fact be the Reunion solitaire, known as the Reunion ibis.
    3) The Viti Levu is relevant to the biology and evolution of the dodo because they are both thought to be closely related to the crowned pigeon. These two species could possibly share a common ancestor that could fly and when landing on these different islands they took different divergent or evolutionary paths.
    4) The limited evidence indicates that the Rodrigues solitaire was possibly larger than the Dodo.
    5) It is difficult to accurately describe the natural appearance of both the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire because no complete specimens exist. Instead, modern scientists are having to depend on detailed descriptions and illustrations from as early as the 1500s.
    6) It would appear that the Rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial because of the state of fossils found. Fractures in the wings indicated that they were possibly used in combat, along with a possible powerful bite to follow. The habitat of the Rodrigues was often dry indicating that there could have been a higher amount of competition facing the species versus the Dodo. The Dodo had much smaller wings than the Rodrigues, as well as, a more resourceful habitat.
    7) The disappearance of the Rodrigues solitaire (exact date unknown) coincided with the tortoise trade (1730-1750). This is most likely due to the traders destroying the vegetation, hunting the solitaire, as well as, bringing cats and pigs that preyed upon the eggs and chicks.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is close to Mauritius and is where the first subfossil remains of the dodo were discovered.
    9) The dodo tree was thought to be going extinct to due to the extinction of the dodo. A scientist hypothesized that the dodo ate the Tambalacoque fruits and only by passing through the digestive tract of the dodo could the seeds germinate. While many others have contested this theory by saying that other species could have contributed to germination. Others have proposed the dodo trees dwindling numbers could be due to the introduction of domestic pigs and crab-eating macaques or possibly competition with introduced plants.
    10) It has been suggested that the broad-billed parrot may have depended on dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots.
    11) There are some descriptions of dodos occurring after 1662 (the dodo extinction date) when they are actually referring to the red rail.
    12) The dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because it is only the most well-known but far from the last. Mauritius is a very isolated island which has resulted in having a low diversity of wildlife, for example, there are no terrestrial mammals found on the island. The only mammals that made their way to the island were bats and marine mammals. Of the two species of bats found there only one remains. Many species found there currently are threatened with extinction because of habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native species. Over a 100 different bird species have been recorded there, now there are only seven to eight remaining. Several species of giant tortoises were also once found there and now they are all extinct.

  165. Liam Seagle says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) This misconception was based on an apparent white coloration, which probably was actually related to the specimen being a juvenile, taxidermed, or miss painted.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon appears to be a close relative of the dodo, and was actually about the same size and shape as the dodo.

    4) The solitaire was definitely taller than the dodo, for the most part, was heavier too.

    5) It is hard to identify differences in species because there are no specimen of either species. Also, the only descriptions are from contemporary artwork and writings, which are very vague and likely inaccurate.

    6) The island of Rodriques is limited to a greater extent by low precipitation levels and has greater seasonal fluxes than Mauritius, therefore resources were less consistently available. More aggressive birds would have been more likely to keep their food than less aggressive individuals.

    7) Human interaction as a result of a booming tortoise trade led to the quick extinctions of both the tortoises and the Dodo.

    8) The Mar aux songes swamp is where the majority of Dodo fossilized remains have been found.

    9) The Tambalacoque was thought to be in serious decline due to its close relationship to the now extinct Dodo. However, more recent studies have shown that the trees seeds were more likely moved around by extinct tortoises or parrots, and, more importantly, the tree may not be declining as seriously as previously thought.

    10) The broad-billed parrot relied on the Dodo and tortoise to eat and digest palm fruit, and then to excrete the seeds, which are the parrots main source of food.

    11) The terms red rail and dodo are used interchangeably in many historical records for birds of similar descriptions which makes it hard to determine which species is actually described.

    12) Due to the island’s isolation and distinct adaptations of predator-prey interactions, many endemic species of Mauritius went extinct after human settlement. The introduction of mammalian predators and another invasive species in combination with widespread habitat degradation led to the demise of many Mauritian species.

  166. Bradley Todd Peters says:

    1. The do do
    2. Because it could have been altered by the taxidermist, or it could have been an albino.
    3. Because it is thought that they might be evolutionarily related.
    4.the Rodriques solitaire is thought to be the larger of the two.
    5. Because of the short span of human interactions, with them, and also that they existed prior to photography.
    6. The dodos were living in abundance of resources, so they didn’t need to be territorial.
    7. They were in neighboring territories, and due to their size they were seen as easy targets for food.
    8. The swamps contain dodos that were preserved in the swamps
    10The red tail is also existent in other species, so they could have been mistaken identities.
    12.because humans haven’t changed, and the extinction is going to continue in other species, because human behavior hasn’t changed.

  167. Katherine Baker says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2. The potential third species is now considered more likely to be the Reunion ibis because it had white coloration which made it seem like a third species of raphine but the coloration was determined to be from juvenile feathers or even the taxidermist.
    3. They are important to Dodo biology studies because they are similar in size and physiology to the Dodo.
    4. The Rodriquez solitaire was larger and weighed more.
    5. Its difficult to physically describe them because there is very little information that is concrete facts for the birds. There are crude sketches but that is it, no actual specimens to look at.
    6. It appears this way because the Rodrigues solitaire lived in a more unstable territory which didn’t have enough room or resources for large numbers of the birds so they had to be aggressive to keep their territory and stay alive. The Dodo didn’t have this problem because their environment was more stable and had plenty of resources and rain for larger population sizes od birds.
    7. The tortoise trade is important because more people came to island and with that they burned more vegetation, introduced cats rats and pigs as competition and they even hunted the birds as well.
    8. Some of the first fossils of the Dodo birds were found in this swamp.
    9. The controversy between this tree and the Dodo is that people thought at first that the tree relied on the Dodos to germinate its seeds after eating them and then passing them back out into the dirt. However, recent developments bring to question whether it was actually the Dodo and not the tortoises that also inhabited the area.
    10. The Dodo and the tortoises would eat the palm fruit and pass them and in turn the parrot would be able to eat them because the hard outer shell was not gone and the nutrients were available.
    11. The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the Dodo bird because they often were used interchangeably so its hard to tell which one is being referenced.
    12. This is only the tip of the iceberg because once the Dodo became extinct, it very quickly ripple effected throughout the island and many other species were effected.

  168. Brooke Tschida says:

    Part 1

    1) The Dodo was the first to go extinct
    2) The first species had a while coloring, albino look. The appearance and behavior made the species be categorized more as ibis.
    3) The birds share similar characteristics like the genetics and body.
    4) The Rodriques due to the taller and slimmer frame then the Dodo.
    5) Due to little information it is hard to describe the physical appearance.
    6) From the physical makeup of the Rodriques which show the knobs and carpal spurs.
    7) From the predictions of around the same time the tortoise went extinct.
    8) The first fossils of the dodo
    9) The people believed that the tree relied on dodos to spread their seeds, the seeds would be consumed then germinated. People nowadays are saying seeds were spread by tortoises.
    10) Competing for the same food
    11) The book used dodo and the red tail, leaving confusion.
    12) This is the one of the first species to go extinct and show how our ecosystem is being affected.

  169. Rikki N. Rodriguez says:

    1.) The first Raphinae group to go extinct was the dodo.
    2.) The third species was considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its physical features such as its beautiful white coloring that merged into yellow and grey upon its body.
    3.) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology and evolution because it is a very large flightless pigeon that although was slightly smaller than the dodo, was thought to have been related to the crown pigeon from the Goura genera, of which the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire had diverged from.
    4.) With the limited evidence it is hard to say whether one of the birds was bigger than the other. The dodo was more compact and muscular, while the Rodrigues solitaire was more swan like and slender. If I had to chose, I would say that the Rodrigues solitaire was bigger due to its weight and possible its height, although its height was not given.
    5.) It is physically difficult to describe the natural appearance of either species because both species have gone extinct several hundred years ago. There is no living specimen to gather any physical data from.
    6.) It appears that the Rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial because these birds were found with large wing fractures that were presumed to have happened during combat. Meanwhile, the dodo may have had a few healed fractures, but their wing size was reduced considerably in comparison.
    7.) The tortoise trade was affiliated with the disappearance of the Rodrigues solitaire extinction because the birds started to disappear around the same time of the trade. The traders would burn vegetation and hunt the solitaires as well as other species and they slowly started to dissipate.
    8.) The Significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp in Dodo studies is that some of the first subfossil remains of dodos were found there. It was recorded that approximately 300 dodos were found in that swamp, helping scientists conclude that that swampy area was a perfect place for dodos to thrive at that specific time in history.
    9.) The significance of the dodo and the dodo tree – the Tambalacoque is it was thought that the seeds of this tree could only germinate if it was eaten and digested by the dodo bird itself. They tried alternatives for germination with 3 out of 7 seeds germinating, but it wasn’t as successful as when they were being eaten by the dodo. Due to this, this species of tree is starting to become extinct.
    10.) The forage ecology or diet of the Brad-billed parrot, Cylindraspis tortoises, and dodo are linked because these three species would rely on other animals to eat hard seeds and secrete them out. These species would then forage for the undigested seeds of which they would then obtain from their droppings and consume.
    11.) The red tail potentially confuses extinction dates of the dodo because they had a close relative on the Rodrigues islands as well. They were discovering remains in the 17th century and getting them confused with the dodo.
    12.) The extinction of the dodo is “only the tip of the iceberg” because the island of Mauritius is fairly small and isolated. In this case, the animals are most likely facing reduction in population size due to the concept of the extinction vortex and lack of genetic diversity. Also due to the little amount of evolutionary pressure on the island, such as predators or any evolution worth factors, these animals have no way to adapt if there were to be in new physical change on the island.

  170. Brady Rosenberry says:

    1. The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2. This misconception was confused with the coloration of the juvenile feathers because they had the white coloration or it could have even been the taxidermist.
    3. They are very important because they are very similar in the size, body structure, and color.
    4. The Rodrique solitaire was thought to be taller larger than the others.
    5. We have so little information on the Dodo and Rodrique solitaire that it is hard to describe their actual appearance.
    6. It appears that the dodo lived in an area with more resources which allowed them to be less territorial, but the Rodrique solitaire had less resources, so they had to be very territorial.
    7. Both the tortoise and the solitaire went extinct because humans came to the island to hunt the tortoise, which destroyed the habitat of the solitaire and would later become extinct.
    8. The first fossils of the Dodo were found in this swamp.
    9. The thought was that the Dodo tree relied on the Dodo bird to spread the seed throughout the landscape. With this being said, it was later found out that the tortoise and other birds were just as much a factor of spreading the seed at the Dodo.
    10. It is believed that the Dodo and the tortoises had a very similar diet. Both species then would have to compete to feed when having the same diet.
    11. The red rail and the Dodo have confused extinctions because the Dodo was used to identify both species, which would easily confuse the two.
    12. This is to be considered the “Tip of the Iceberg” because human intrusion on the island will never stop. Once humans had an influence on the island, there was and will continue to be a downward spiral of species because of over hunting and fragmentation to the ecosystem.

  171. Ryley Gray says:

    1. The Raphinae that went extinct first was the Dodo

    2. Raphus solitarius is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its coloration. The species was first thought to be an albino or a young version of Raphus solitarius, but its pigmentation is actually consistent with the Reunion ibis.

    3. The giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution due to its morphological features and its close relation to the dodo. The giant pigeon’s dodo like size and genetic similarity made it easy to relate the dodo’s biology and evolutionary traits.

    4. Based on limited evidence, the dodo had a more robust body shape while the Rodriques solitaire was much taller. The dodo was short and stalky while the Rodriques solitaire was tall and lengthy, being less in weight but larger in height.

    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there are no specimens available for scientists to develop and accurate representation of their physicality’s. With only artist’s interpretations, and lack of scientific evidence, scientists are only able to guess at the physicality of these birds.

    6. The Rodriques solitaire seemed to be highly territorial due to morphological adaptation for fighting. The solitaire had more developed wing and pectoral muscles along with a couple of highly weaponized kobs. The dodo was seemed as less likely to fight due to the fact that it did not possess any of these adaptations for fighting behavior.

    7. The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because of the shared habitat between the tortoises and the Rodriques solitaire. As the human trade and capture of tortoises increased, hunters would burn and destroy tortoise and solitaire habitat. The hunters also released domesticated animals which fed on the eggs and offspring of the Rodriques solitaire.

    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to the studying of the Dodo is that of preferred dodo habitat. Based on past climate and other aspects of the swamp, scientists believe that the swamp is perfect habitat for the dodo. Also, a good portion of the dodo birds that were found were in this swamp habitat.

    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and the dodo tree is that many scientists thought that in order for the tree to reproduce and for its seeds to germinate, they had to be eaten by the dodo and excreted. Therefore, as the dodo became extinct, there was no means by which the tree could germinate or disperse its seeds. However, it was later found out that the dodo was not critical in the dispersal and germination of the dodo tree. There were many other factors that influenced the reduction in the dodo tree numbers.

    10. The foraging ecology and diet of the dodo can be linked to the broad-billed parrot and the cylindraspis tortoise because both the dodo and the cylindraspis tortoise would consume the dodo tree seeds which then dispersed these seeds. After consuming and dispersing these seeds, the broad-billed parrot would consume then as a forage. The evidence to support this claim came about by finding the fossil species of the dodo along with these other two species in the same habitat.

    11. The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo because the red rail had many similar characteristics of the dodo such as, morphology, color, habitat preference, and behavioral characteristics. This led to false claims of sighting dodos when they were actually sighting red rails. This lead to confusion on the exact time that dodos went extinct.

    12. The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for the extinctions of Mauritius due to the new found presence of humans on this remote island. Without the time allowance of species to adapt to anthropogenic influences, many species became extinct due to a variety of mechanisms, one being habitat loss.

  172. Amy Gamache says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) The potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its color and other physical features.
    3) It is relevant because lineage shows these species are taxonomically related by similar anatomy.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire may have been larger than the dodo, but that is determined by height difference. There is varying information based off weight of the birds and varied between genders.
    5) It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of either bird because the only evidence to rely on it sketches, no photos or living species exist.
    6) The Dodo is less territorial because it evolved with little resources and thus evolved to be less territorial.
    7) The tortoise trade caused the habitat to decrease by burnings and was also hunted, as well as releasing other species that restricted the habitat and releasing predators.
    8) The first Dodo skeleton was found in the Mare aux Songes swamp and was concluded to be a habitat best suited for the Dodo.
    9) The controversy is about if the Dodo bird effected the reproduction rate of Tambalacoque tree. Considering that this tree was located around the Mare aux Songes swamp, when the Dodo went extinct, there was a pattern of the tree species dying out.
    10) The Dodo bird was a primary source of food for the Broad-billed parrot. The Dodo bird would eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds, which the parrots ate.
    11) The red tail was a bird discovered in the 1700s that had a similar physical anatomy to the Dodo, so people thought the Dodo still existed.
    12) It is the “tip of the iceburg” because after the Dodo went extinct, other species on Mauritius started decreasing in population. Also, those populations weren’t able to evolve due to the introductions of invasive species.

  173. Erick Rockwood says:

    1) The Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) that went extinct first was the Dodo. The Dodo was listed as extinct in 1662 and the Rodriques solitare was listed as extinct in 1778.

    2) Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) because due to one account specifically metioning dods on an island and a 17th Century painting had white dodo’s painted.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon) because it was a large flightless bird, slightly smaller than the dodo and is related to the crowned pigeons. The two species were found on the same island.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, the Dodo was larger than the Rodriques solitaire because it is listed as larger size. Even though they have shorter legs they have a larger skull and torso.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because only the skeletons have been discovered. The plumage is up for speculation. This causes issues in knowing the total size of the birds.

    6) It appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so because the Rodrigues solitaire presumably settled disputes by striking each other with their wings. Fractures in their wing bones also indicate they were used in combat. Where the dodo did not have this tactic and the fractures.

    7) The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because the traders burnt off the vegetation, hunted solitares and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo was that old descriptions suggest that the dodos inhabited the woods on the drier coastal areas of south and west mauritius. This view supported the swamps location and limited vegetation leading to the extinction of the dodo.

    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) are the tree dpended on the dodo propagation for further germinate the seeds. Other researchers have shown that the tree can germinate without the dependency on dodo birds. Other animals such as the fruit bat and parrots could distribute the seeds. Temple’s view was only that dodo’s were the reason the trees were alive.

    10) Foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because they all served the same function on what fruits they would eat. With the loss of the diet from these trees fruits and seeds the parrots and tortoises would go extinct.

    11) The name red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo’s because in the literature it is viewed that the dodo’s names were changed to red rail and that would extend the survival from 1662 to 1681.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because it is being brought up as a human impact on a species and the island is having more invasive species with more loss of native species. The dodo’s have achieved widespread recognition for going extinct and are now the symbol for extinction.

  174. Peyton Morrison says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.
    2. There was a potential mix up involving the coloration of the species where the specimen was misidentified due to the light/albino coloration/
    3. The two species share some similarities and studying the pigeon may help identify lineage, ancestries, and may give insight into how the ancestors lived.
    4. The Rodriques solitaire was larger.
    5. Both are extinct, so it is hard to visualize exactly what they were like. There is no living model, there are no photos, and so it is difficult to model exactly what they looked like.
    6. The dodos did not need to be territorial due to an excess of resources. There was not a competition. The Rodriques solitaire didn’t have the same luxury and had to be more territorial.
    7. The tortoise trade brought over humans who hunted, got rid of vegetation, and brought over predators for the solitaire that brought such adversity that they were not accustomed to that they died out.
    8. The first fossils were found in the swamp (dodo fossils)
    9. The controversy is over the “spreader of the seeds”. The dodo ate and then would process and lay waste to the seeds and this was thought to be the spread of the tree. However, there was also a species of tortoise that also could have spread the seeds in a similar fashion.
    10. It may have been that the dodo would eat the hard seeds and then would digest and excrete the seeds, therefore allowing for the hard outer shell to have been broken down and the parrot could then eat the inner seed. The tortoise also shared a similar dietary preference as the dodo in that they also ate the hard shelled seeds.
    11. The red rail was a similar species with similar remains and they are largely mistakeable and sometimes interchangable.
    12. The dodo was the first of many species to go down as a result of human interaction and therefore was the “tip of the iceberg” due to the many more that followed.

  175. Maddy Sabel says:

    1. The dodo
    2. Because of both a miscommunication of the record and cases of albinism
    3. The giant pigeon is a relative of the dodo and studying it can help explain the divergence of the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire
    4. The size comparison is difficult to make because the dodo was shorter but possibly heavier because it seems stockier. So larger is relative to which of the measurements you are making
    5. It is difficult to describe these birds because the only evidence we have of their appearance is first-hand accounts and sketches, neither of which are completely reliable.
    6. The dodo seems possibly less territorial because of the higher rainfall in their habitat resulting in better resources than in the habitat of the solitaire.
    7. The tortoise trade resulted in the destruction of their habitat and the introduction of predators that preyed on the birds.
    8. Many dodo fossils have been found in this area suggesting that it had the preferred habitat of the dodo.
    9. The tambalacoque went extinct around the same time as the dodo, which has been suggested to be linked. It is thought that the tree was only able to reproduce when its seeds passed through the digestive system of the dodo making their extinction directly linked to the extinction of the dodo.
    10. the dodo and the tortoise both fed off the fruit of the dodo tree leaving behind the seeds which were then eaten and distributed by the parrot.
    11. The dodo and the red rail were distinct species but were often refered to interchangeably making it difficult to determine when the dodo was actually being discussed.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was just the tip of the iceberg because it was then followed by many more human caused extinctions and will likely be followed by even more in the future as humans take more and more control.

  176. Kailee McKinney says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because the specimen was likely an artists rendition as well as it showed juvenile traits and some feathers could have been bleached in taxidermy.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of the Dodo bird because its taxonomic characteristics are similar, which gives us some clues as to how the Dodo may have lived.
    4. Based upon limited evidence, it is likely that the Rodriques was taller.
    5. It is difficult to describe the natural appearance of the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there is little documentation of them and there are no complete specimens to give us an idea of their physical appearance.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was more territorial because it had knobs on its wrists that could have been used for fighting, as well as bone fractures in the wing bones that suggest altercations with others.
    7. Those who participated in the tortoise trade came and introduced predators that ate the Rodriques solitaires chicks and eggs, as well as burned native vegetation, which lead to their extinction.
    8. Many dod bird remains have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp, which gives us an idea of the habitat in which they lived.
    9. In the 70s it was thought that the reproduction of new “dodo trees” was only successful when the dodo digested and dispersed the seeds. So when the dodo went extinct it caused a significant decrease in Tambalacoque trees, but more recently research has found that tortoises are also able to disperse the seeds.
    10. The broad billed parrot might have relied on the dodo bird and the tortoise to eat and digest palm fruit so that it could eat the seeds that were excreted.
    11. “Red tail” is often used interchangeably with dodo in historical records, so it is hard to know which species is actually being discussed.
    12. Because the island is so isolated and there are few mammalian predators, many of the native species started going extinct after humans began to settle on the island and brought new species with them that the native species weren’t used to competing with.

  177. Briana Howard says:

    The Dodo Exam

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first, we traveled to the island where the Dodos inhabited first and brought death and raveled to the next island after that and brought more death.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    People painted the Dodo in different colors and one of those colors was white. So when people saw the Raphus solitarius they thought it was the white version of the Dodo. That and it was similar in shape and size, fat and flightless, like the Dodo bird. So people mistook the bird for a white Dodo.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    This type of pigeon was apart of another island, Fiji, and was thought to be similar to the Dodo. The species was theorized to be related to the crowned pigeons like the Dodo. So learning about these birds may shed insight on the lives of the Dodo birds.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Dodo was slightly larger than the other bird. Based on bone evidence the Dodo may have been a little over 3 feet ad the other bird was around 3 feet, although the Dodo probably weighed less.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult because only a few people saw the bird before it went extinct and it wasn’t like they were drawing correct diagrams of the creatures. Also the ones that were captured and sent to wealthy people who wanted them were probably overweight because of the abundance of food given to them.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but thedodo possibly less so?
    First the wings on the Dodo looked more for balance or displaying rather then fighting and the Rodriques solitaire looked like they used there wings for combat. Also the season variation where the Dodos lived was less then the changes where the other species lived. More abundance of resources was available where the Dodo lived resulting in less combative behavior, unlike the other bird.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    During the tortoise trade the traders burned vegetation, hunted the species, and imported cats and pigs that preyed on the hatching sights.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    She was the person who mostly gathered the remains of the Dodo throughout different areas collecting a large amount of subfossils.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    So the Dodo inhabited a limited area on the island, drier costal areas. This areas was dominated by the Tambalacoque tree, therefore it would be easy to consider that the Dodo bird chose the drier habitat, that hade a large amount of that certain species of tree, because that provided in ecological niche for the Dodo birds. The tree also depending on the Dodo bird for spreading its seeds to other locations, once the Dodo birds started depleting in numbers so did the tree.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The tortoises and parrots that live on the island may have also aided in the distribution of the trees seed so it may seem these creature probably ate a similar diet and the disappearance of all these species have drastically reduced the trees on the island.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    So some men said they saw a Dodo in 1662 and then another sailor reported they saw a Dodo in 1688. Though after 1662 the reports of the Dodo use the names “Dodo” and “Dodaer” referring to red rail. Meaning the bird that might have been seen was another bird entirely, so extinction date is a bit confusing.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Because almost all of the endemic species on the island are gone, and the biodiversity that accompanied these creatures have dissolved rapidly. The species that are gone are both plant and animals and even now some species are in danger of going extinct.

  178. Kayleigh Carranza says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct before the Rodrigues solitaire.

    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its coloration or pigmentation.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies regarding Dodo biology and evolution because the Viti Levu giant pigeon is closely related to the Dodo through anatomical and physiological traits.

    4. The Rodrigues solitaire is larger than the Dodo in terms of height and weight but it’s based on past observations.

    5. It is difficult to describe their natural appearance because no specimen of either bird exists so we must rely on artwork from around the time they existed.

    6. The Rodrigues solitaire appears highly territorial because of the knobby spurs on its elbows which are recognized as a source of weaponry for them. Also, the habitat of the solitaire tended to fluctuate in its resource abundance which led to competition.

    7.When the tortoise trade was popular, so was the trade of many other species which outcompeted the Rodrigues solitaire for resources.

    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp was where a large amount of subfossil was collected on Mauritis.

    9. The tambalacoque, or “Dodo tree”, coexisted with the dodo. The Dodo relied on the tree for food while the tree relied on the Dodo to germinate its seed in the gastrointestinal tract. Once the Dodo went extinct, the tambalacoque numbers suffered.

    10. The Broad-billed parrot relied on the Cylindraspis tortoise to consume and pass on nuts and seeds so that the parrots was able to consume them afterwards.

    11. The Red rails and Dodo were similar in appearance which confused the extinction date for the Dodo since the rails outlived them.

    12. Human interaction with the Dodo made them go extinct but it happened for many other species as well. Humans will continue to be one of the causes of a species extinction for many years to come.

  179. Ryan Anderson says:

    1. The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2. There was a mix-up between the two birds due to a 17th century painting which had Dodo’s painted white.
    3. The Viti Levu is relevant to studies of Dodo’s because it was a large flightless bird like the Dodo only smaller and were both found on the same island.
    4. Based on limited evidence the Dodo was the larger of the two as it was recorded to have a larger skull and torso.
    5. It is hard to physically describe the physical appearance of the Dodo or the Rodriguez Solitaire because only the skeletons have been found, and they are extinct now.
    6. The Rodriguez Solitaire was likely highly territorial because fractures have been in their wings which suggests their wings were used in combat. Where the Dodo did not have this sort of evidence which suggests they were not as territorial.
    7. The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodriguez Solitaire because the traders hunted Solitaires, burned off the landscape and brought domesticated predators to the area that also hunted these birds.
    8. The Mare aux songes swamp had remains of the Dodos which suggested they lived in these swamps with limited vegetation which lead to the extinction of the Dodo.
    9. The controversy between the Dodo and the “Dodo-tree” is that it was originally thought that the dispersing of the Dodo-tree seeds was the direct result of the Dodo but now evidence suggests there was a tortoise that could have done the same thing.
    10. The Dodo and the Tortoise both fed off the fruit of the “Dodo-tree” which the seed could then be dispersed by the Parrot because the Parrot relied on the tortoise to consume the fruit first.
    11. The Red Rails and the Dodo had similar appearance which could confuse the extinction date of the Dodos because the Red Rails persisted on after the Dodo went extinct.
    12. Human interaction is ultimately what caused the extinction of the Dodo but this process has had similar affects on a variety of other species. The process of human related extinction of species will likely only continue, and possibly get worse.

  180. Ryan Singh-Cundy says:

    1. Dodo’s were the first bird to go extinct.
    2. The potential third species of bird is now considered to be the reunion ibis because it may have been a juvenile, an albino or the artist rendition was innacurate.
    3. The giant pigeon is relevant to dodo biology because it is of the same family as the dodo and may have been the same species at some point prior to the divergence of the dodo.
    4. The dodo was the shorter of the two bird species and may or may not have had a fatter appearance.
    5. It is difficult to describe the appearance of either bird because they are currently extinct and the data pertaining to their appearance is limited and of questionable accuracy.
    6. The solitaire was likely more territorial than the dodo because of its larger and stronger wings which were likely used for combat.
    7. The extinction of these birds is related to the tortoise trade because the tortoise trade brought the Europeans into the birds habitat. These Europeans then ate the birds and introduced a number species that had deleterious effects.
    8. This swamp is where a number of the dodo’s remains have come from. This also suggests that there was a large population of the birds in this area.
    9. This controversy is over the idea that the dodo influenced the reproduction of the tambalacoque tree. The dodos may have been essential to the opening of the trees seeds by passing the seeds through their digestive tracts.
    10. Broad billed parrots required dodos and tortoises in their habitat to eat certain fruits and deposit their seeds in their excrement. These seeds then became food for the parrot.
    11. The red rail looks similar to the dodo and some people confused the two species leading to confusion over the existence of the dodo.
    12. The dodo extinction is the tip of the iceberg because it is only one of many endemic species on isolated islands that are at risk of extinction or experiencing decline because of human impacts on their small isolated environments. That is to say that dodos like other animals in this scenario are very susceptible to ecological changes.

  181. Austin Schirato says:

    1. The Dodo was first to go extinct followed by Rodriques solitaire not long after, both from the impacts of hunting and introduced species competition.
    2. The potential third species of raphine is now considered more likely to be the Reunion ibis because of DNA analysis and skeletons that show the species was likely misinterpreted in early journals as being similar to the raphine family. Modern analysis shows that the species was in fact unique and has since been removed from the original family classification.
    3. The Viti luva giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because the Viti luva was only slightly smaller than the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire and shares the common trait of being an extinct flightless pigeon. Further, the species experienced extinction around a similar time period from the same human causes.
    4. It is believed that the Rodrigues solitaire was slightly larger than the dodo. The dodo is believed to be more robust and shorter with an estimated weight of 51 pounds, while the Rodrigues solitaire had an estimated weight of 62 pounds.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the dodo or Rodrigues solitaire because both species went extinct so quickly and early in history that there is no existing images of the species, only digital recreations from fossils and early drawings that may or may not be completely accurate. There is much debate surrounding the physical appearance of the species with many believing that it was dependent on the season and whether or not the species was in captivity.
    6. Rodrigues solitaire appeared to more territorial in comparison to the dodo because the dodo had weaker pectoral muscles and more reduced wings, where the Rodrigues solitaire had more development of both likely due to increased use by males in combat. Also the climate within the habitat of the dodo was more stable than that of the Rodrigues solitaire likely indicating that the dodo has less need to move and compete with other males for viable habitat.
    7. The tortoise trade resulted in traders burning off vegetation of the island, hunting solitaires and releasing cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks. The reduction in numbers and habitat combined with increased nest predation is likely the cause of Rodrigues solitaire extinction.
    8. A large amount of subfossil tissue has been found within the Mare aux Songes swamp on Mauritius allowing biologists to better study the DNA and understand the biology of the long extinct dodo.
    9. It is believed by some that “the dodo tree” relies on the dodo for propagation. It is hypothesized that the seeds of the dodo tree can only germinate after passing through the digestive tract of the extinct bird. Recent studies have somewhat discredited this theory but the relationship between the dodo and the dodo tree has not been discredited.
    10. It is hypothesized that broad billed parrots relied on the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots. Without this process the broad pilled parrot lost a vital nutrient source within its diet.
    11. The red tail was a similar species that was often described similarly to a dodo or confused with by the untrained eye. Conflicting reports of red tails and dodos are difficult to distinguish due to the isolated habitat and inaccuracies of early records. It is believed that after 1662 reports of dodo sightings were in fact red tails.
    12. The extinction of the dodo can be described as “the tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because the bird had such a fundamental role in the ecosystem and within the function of other species on the island. There are many hypothesis to the relation of tree and other animal species to the dodo, in many cases it is determined that these species were reliant on the dodo to provide seed propagation and nutrients for other mammals. It is difficult to fully understand the impacts of dodo extinction due to the nature of early records and the controversy surrounding the species extinction and the extent to which the dodo impacted other species on Mauritius.

  182. Travis Bogard says:

    1.) The Dodo went extinct first, but perhaps less is known about the Rodriques solitaire.
    2.) The plumage was more similar, and more brightly colored.
    3.) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant because it demonstrates the Foster’s rule that the birds may loose flight and become large if the ecosystem allows it.
    4.) The sizes of the birds are up to speculation, but the giant pigeon may have been taller.
    5.) The physical appearance of the birds were depicted in a variety of ways based on an artists rendition, the verbiage used to describe the dodo is conducive to a dopey, round creature.
    6.) The Rodriques solitaire had a more defined keel, meaning there were larger pectoral muscles attached to it for stronger wings possibly used for fighting.
    7.) The tortoise trade may have had something to do with its extinction because with trade comes unwanted invaders, development and habitat fragmentation.
    8.) These swampy areas have conserved dodo remains, and are possibly where the dodos could have lived.
    9.) The dodo tree is on the decline, and the oldest trees alive today are roughly 300 years and this coincides with the extinction of the dodo, so it was believed that the dodo played a role in the fertilization of the tree.
    10.) The dodos may have provided food for the tortoises and parrots, after the dodo softened the seeds up through digestion.
    11.) Again artists clouded the time dodos went extinct by incorrectly sketching the red rails.
    12.) The dodo may have been a keystone species, cracking seeds and spreading food. Also the amount of invasive species on the island could spell l trouble for the natural, evolved critters.
    13.) The dodo is extinct despite scientists having some fragments of tissue from the dodo. The tissue fragments may have been degraded too far to clone.
    14.) DNA would need to be extracted from a piece of tissue from the Dodo, the DNA would then be genetically infused into a surrogate to carry the offspring. I believe it could be done with care, and attention.

  183. Brad Luff says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first

    2) The specimen being examined had light colored plumage which was likely a result of being albino, a juvenile, or bleaching done by the taxidermist.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the Dodo studies because both birds are in the same family and the Viti Levu giant pigeon also had a similar size and was flightless.

    4) The Rodriguez solitaire appears to have been a larger species than the Dodo.

    5) Both birds have been extinct long enough that it is hard or impossible to obtain specimens and neither species was described very well while they were alive.

    6) The Rodriguez solitaire lived in a more hostile environment and so competition for resources most likely made it more territorial in order to survive.

    7) Tortoise trade introduced new species onto the island with the Rodriguez solitaire which preyed on the bird and its eggs. Since the species was not used to these predators it did not have any adaptions for survival against them.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is important to Dodo studies because most of the specimens of today have been collected from that area, indicating this may have been preferred Dodo habitat.

    9) There is a theory that the Tambalacoque relied on the Dodos for seed dispersal and to disrupt the dormancy of the seeds by digestion. So the extinction of Dodo birds inevitably led to the extinction of the Tambalacoque.

    10) It is thought that the Broad-billed parrot may have relied on the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises to excrete seeds which they would be able to eat after partial digestion.

    11) The red rail has a similar appearance to the Dodo and so specimens may have been confused between the two species adding the ambiguity in extinction dates for the two species.

    12) The species on Mauritius were not adapted to humans and the species that they brought with them to the island. The dodo was the first species to go extinct from human pressures on the island, but all of the species feel the presence and have to adapt to survive. This makes it a “tip of the iceberg” situation where future extinctions should be expected after the extinction of the Dodo due to human pressures.

  184. Connor McLeod says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    The two were mistaken for eachother, but it was probably just an artists rendition or an albino specimen.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The Viti Levu is closely related to the dodo so from studying it we can learn more about the dodo as well.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire may have been larger and weighed more than the dodo.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult because these species have been extinct for a very long time, which makes us rely on drawings and drawings can be skewed.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo had fewer resource restrictions; over time this causes it to be less territorial.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire may have coincided with the tortoise trade.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Some of the first remains of the dodo were found in the Mare aux Songes swamp.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The dodo tree was originally thought to not be able to survive without the dispersion help of the dodo, thus the extinction of the dodo would go hand in hand with a decline in Tambalacoque.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Some believe that the Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises also dispersed seeds of the Tambalacoque tree. The parrot would eat previously eaten food from the dodo.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The two birds were often used the same so in writings it is hard to differentiate between the two.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The island is isolated, obviously, which means the species won’t be able to leave the island making them less adaptable. The populations will continue to decline because of this.

  185. Kaelin Hamel-Rieken says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) The third potential species of raphine is now considered to more likely to be the Reunion ibis because of its coloration, which could’ve been misidentified because of taxidermy, albinism, or it could’ve been a juvenile.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because they are from the same family and shared certain taxonomic characteristics.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire was perceived to be larger based on its height and average heavier weight than the Dodo’s.

    5) It difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because they have been extinct for so long and were left with only their fossils and paintings of the creatures to determine their defining characteristics.

    6) The Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo was possibly less so because of availability of resources. The Rodriques solitaire had to compete with other species for food and space due to its scarcity whereas the dodo had bountiful resources and doesn’t have to compete for food, hence their more robust size and lack of flight.

    7) The tortoise trade contributes to the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because when the hunters came in they began to destroy their habitat by building their homesteads and burning locations that had tortoise populations. That along with the introduction of the animals that the hunters brought with them also decreased their population size.

    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo is that in this location numerous amount of fossil material was found which could express that this location was a favorable habitat to the dodos, so by knowing that can be a great contributor to the study of the dodos.

    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – theTambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) is that the tree depended on the dodo for continued life cycles. It was noted that once the dodos went extinct so would the tree since its seed germination was dependent upon being consumed by the dodo and excreted in a new location would result in a tree. However, what actually happened was the tree population greatly declined in accordance to the extinction of the dodo however, animals with the similar digestive process as the dodo could yield seed germination and thus the tree survived, even if just in a reduced population size.

    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo is thought to be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the parrot was dependent upon the dodo and the tortoise to consume fruits and expel the seeds for the parrot’s consumption. When both species went extinct or missing within the habitats the parrots also suffered due to their loss of their main food source.

    11) The red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo due to their similarities in appearance and sightings of the red rail could have been mistaken as dodos and results in a confusion when it comes to the exact date that the dodos went extinct.

    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because human influences drove out populations before they could adapt to the changes that the humans brought with them and then the introduction of invasive species began to overrun the location and snuffed out the native species further.

  186. Healani Brennan says:

    1.) The Dodo
    2.) It was misinterpreted to be in the raphine family as well as its relationship to the pigeon and dodo were relatively unknown. It’s thought they come from the same genera Goura though.
    3.) It’s thought to be related to pigeons as well but also flightless and smaller than the Dodo making it a possible relative to the Dodo
    4.) The Rodriques because they were taller and probably weighed more than the dodo.
    5.) Many accounts or drawings vary and only so much can be done with reconstructive technology and the use of bones to determine structure.
    6.) Observations of the rodrique say they settled disputes by striking one another and fractures in wing bones indicate this behavior. Biting was also described. Dodos had weak pectoral muscles and smaller wings indicating less capability to fight.
    7.) Because traders burned vegetation and imported cats and pigs which preyed on the eggs and chicks.
    8.) Large amounts of subfossil have been found there.
    9.) It was thought to be in decline since the dodo went extinct because the seeds only germinated after passing through the dodo but this came to be untrue.
    10.) Because the dodos and tortoises ate the palm fruits and once they digested them, the seeds became food for the parrots.
    11.) They were misinterpreted for one another and even had names that were interchangeable for one another like “red hen” and “dodo.” The similarity between them makes them hard to distinguish from one another.
    12.) The Dodo was a keystone species and its extinction resulted in the decline of others that relied on the processes of the Dodo such as its digestion of seeds and such. The fact the island is isolated as well as supports endemic species that now have invasives likes cats and pigs also proposes a problem.

  187. Caitlin Cheney says:

    1) Dodos were the first to go extinct
    2) The third species of raphine is considered to be Reunion ibis because of the albino characteristics.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon and the dodo were beleved to have similar characteristics and belonged to the same ‘family’ Columbidae
    4) From the little information the Rodriques has a taller and wider build than the dodo, although wingspans are the same and can not be quantified expertly.
    5) It is difficult to describe the appearance of the solitaire and dodo because brief periods of exposure to humans was not enough for a full description and no soft tissue is left of remains.
    6) The solitaire was highly territorial because of the history of winged bone fractures and accessory hardened protrusions on the wings that are thought to have aided in territorial aggression.
    7) The tortoise is relevant to the extinction of the solitaire because the tortoise was more commonly heard of and was hunted where the solitaire also lived and was timely, also hunted and killed.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp was where a lot of the dodo fossils were found and a life history point was noted when no juvenile remains were found there.
    9) The dodo was thought to be the only specimen that could germinate the seeds in their guts from the dodo tree but actually after the dodos became extinct, the seeds were still brifely germinated. This disproved the theory.
    10) The broad-billed parrot relied on clean seeds made by tortoises and dodos foraging habits.
    11) The red rail can confuse the extinction date for the dodo because red rails were commonly called dodos and the sightings may have been mixed up.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is only part of the extinctions on Mauritius because of the numerous other species that went extinct on the island that may still be showing cascading after effects by the non extinct organisms. There are also species that may have never been reported and they went extinct without us even knowing they were there.

  188. Will Scott says:

    1) The first Raphinae to go extinct was the Dodo
    2) The species raphine (Raphus solitarius) is considered more likely to be the Reunion ibis simply due to coloration. The examined specimen had light coloration, leading scientist to believe that it was either a juvenile or albino Reunion ibis.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo’s biology and evolution for numerous reasons. First it was somewhat smaller than the dodo, but was a relatively large and flightless bird. Additionally, it was a member of the Columbidae family and might be related to the crowned pigeons, suggesting that they could be close relatives to the dodo.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, it is suggested that Rodriques solitaire may have been the larger bird as compared to the dodo. The Rodriques solitaire had longer legs and necks and approximately weighed 28kg.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire simply because they have been extinct for a long time, and when they were alive record keeping was somewhat futile. Most of the records are drawing that are likely inaccurate and somewhat exaggerated.
    6) It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial likely due to its habitat. With limited food and resources Rodriques solitaire needed to be highly territorial to protect its limited supply of resources. The dodo on the other hand lived in a more favorable environment, limiting the competition between individuals for resources.
    7) The tortoise trade is linked with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because it increased the interaction between humans and the Rodriques solitaire. The tortoise and Rodriques solitaire lived on the same islands, and when traders came to the island to hunt tortoises they indirectly interacted with the Rodriques solitaire. When the tortoise traders came to the islands they would burn the islands to make capturing the tortoises easier, they also brought dogs and cats, as pets, that preyed upon the young Rodriques solitaire.
    8) The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp is that it is common to find dodo fossils there leading scientist to be it was suitable habitat. The first dodo fossil was found there along with hundreds more, but interestingly few juvenile fossils were ever discovered. This may be because the dodos used the swamps as feeding grounds while they nested else where.
    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” is that the dodo is needed to complete the life cycle of the Tambalacoque. One theory proposed that in order for the seeds to germinate they needed to pass through the dodo’s digestive system. By moving through the dodo’s digestive system the endocarp could be digested and the seeds could then be excreted aiding to the seed’s dispersal. However, this theory is based on an uncontrolled experiment using turkeys and since the extinction of the dodo, the tree has continued to germinate.
    10) The foraging ecology and diet of the dodo is linked to that the Cylindraspis tortoises because they fed on the same fruits. As the dodos and tortoises ate the fruit, they then proceeded to excrete the seeds, and the Broad-billed parrot would then feed on the seeds. The three species also aided in the dispersal of Tambalacoque seeds, creating more trees that would in turn create more food.
    11) The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates with the dodo because of the confusion between the two species. The last sighting of a dodo was in 1662, when a shipwreck sailor heard distress calls of a dodo. These cries were described as dodo cries but resembled that of the red rail as well. The dodo’s sightings might also be confused with red rails because of similar body types and the name dodo could be used to identify the red rail.
    12) The extinction of the dodo may only be the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because basically it is an island. Species on Mauritius have evolved without the interaction or threat of humans or human introduced predators. Islands are geographically isolated and small in area, and species like the dodo are often unfit to survive when invasive species inhabit the island. If dodos had lived in the same habitat as humans, they might have evolved to better defend themselves against humans and humans introduced predators.

  189. J.Weir says:

    1) The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2) Paintings which had suggested a third white species have been concluded, by comparing fossils, to be based on possible albino specimens or artistic licensing.
    3) Genetically linking the two species through Columbidea may offer some interesting insights into the study of the Dodo’s evolution.
    4) Rodriques Solitaire is reported to be taller and overall larger than the Dodo.
    5) There is no whole specimens, only descriptions and paintings.
    6) The Dodo did not likely face the same restrictions on resources as solitaire may have, thus not needing to be aggressive about those resources.
    7) It is thought that it was the tortoise trade between 1730-1750 is what brought people to Rodriques, leading to solitaire’s destruction.
    8) A large collection of Dodo subfossil remains have be collected from the Mare aux Songes swamp and suggest that it may have been the primary habitat of the species.
    9) In the 1970s Stanley Temple hypothesized that the Dodo had been responsible for the distribution of the Tambalacoque’s seed and that the seed required passing through the bird’s digestive tract before germinating. Temple’s study, however, was not controlled and has been highly criticized. Others suggest that additional species may have been responsible for the seed’s distribution as well.
    10) Researchers think that the parrot may have used the Dodo and tortoise as a way to clean seeds. The parrot would pick the clean seeds out from the Dodo and tortoise droppings.
    11) It is unclear if late accounts of the Dodo may have actually been the red rail, thus confusing the date of the Dodo’s actual extinction.
    12) The extinction of the Dodo was probably the first (man made) on the island, but it was followed by more. The factors which led to the Dodo’s extinction are still negatively impacting the island and threatening current species.

  190. Jason Fontaine says:

    1) The Dodo.
    2) The bird may have been mistaken due to similarities of physical features and color.
    3) They are thought to be closely related.
    4) Based on the limited evidence it is believed the Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo.
    5) There have been no living specimens for a few hundred years and there is complete specimen.
    6) The Rodriques solitaire was built physically more for the ability to attack that the Dodo.
    7) Tortoise traders both hunted the Rodriques solitaire and destroyed its habitat. They are also responsible for the introduction of invasive species such as cats.
    8) This is where most of the remains we have today have been found.
    9) The Tambalacoque, or dodo tree, has been on the decline and currently looks to be going extinct. The only specimens still on the island are approximately 300 years old. Because of this it is thought that the tree requires the dodo for reproduction and so the tree is going extinct because the dodo is no longer present.
    10) It is thought the broad-billed parrot may have depended on the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds which would then become food for the parrot.
    11) The red rail is somewhat similar to the dodo and they are believed to have gone extinct after the dodo, so drawings of some red rails may have been mistaken for dodos.
    12) The dodos are only “the tip of the ice berg” for extinctions on Mauritius because many other species from the island have gone or are well on their way to going extinct.

    • Emma Ruggiero says:

      1) The Dodo went extinct first.
      2) The bird was similar in overall appearance to the Dodo, but white and black in color and also extinct. Some also thought that the white specimen may be a juvenile, a bleached specimen or the artist not accurately portraying the bird.
      3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is similar to the Dodo in body size and structure and is relatively closely related genetically and evolved in a similar manner.
      4) The Rodriques solitaire weighs more than the Dodo.
      5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because they have been extinct for so long and there was not proper preservation of a complete bird and sketches and drawings made of the animals were not accurate. As a result there is no accurate information on color of the Dodo and appearance of either species. Also only one complete skeleton from a single individual exists so even size ranges or which sex was larger is unknown.
      6) The Dodo was probably less territorial than the Rodrigues solitaire because it lived in an environment with more resources. Also the Dodo lacked the knobs present on the wrists of the Rodrigues solitaire that were thought to be used for fighting over territory.
      7) The Rodrigues solitaire went extinct at the same time that the tortoise trade was taking place. This trade resulted in destruction of the vegetation of the island and the release of domestic animals that ate the birds, their eggs, and their young.
      8) The majority of the Dodo bones that have been collected and preserved were found in the swamp. Most are subfossils.
      9) It was initially thought that the only way that the seed of the tree could germinate was after passing through the digestive tract of the Dodo and that since the Dodo and all other animals that may have eaten the seeds are extinct that the tree could no longer reproduce and would eventually go extinct. However, the seeds of the tree can occasionally germinate without passing through the digestive tract of an animal and have been documented to germinate since the Dodo went extinct.
      10) The extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises were the other two organisms other than the Dodo that ate and dispersed the seeds of the Tambalacoque. Also the Broad-billed parrot is thought to have eaten the seeds of the Tambalacoque that were present in Dodo feces.
      11) The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the Dodo because records of Dodo sightings in the late 17th century may have actually been red rail sightings.
      12) The extinction of the dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because of the extensive habitat alteration that has occurred and the introduction of many predatory invasive species including pigs, rats, cats, etc that consume the native fauna and their young. Also, introduced species compete for resources with native fauna and consume the native flora that threatened species depend on for survival and the introduction of novel diseases and parasites may also impact the native fauna. In addition due to the widespread alteration of the Mauritius ecosystem it is likely that many species currently exist with an extinction debt and are actually unable to successfully reproduce at a level sufficient to sustain the species into the future (this may be happening with the Tambalacoque which has lost the species that it depended on to abrade and disperse its seeds).
      Extra———–
      13) Yes, given that no researchers have been able to extract tissue with usable DNA from preserved or subfossil remains it is unlikely that any attempts could be made to clone the dodo or use genetic de-extinction techniques like those proposed for the passenger pigeon or mammoth to bring back the dodo.
      14) Don’t. The ecosystem modification and habitat loss that have occurred since its extinction would make it improbable that any re-introduction would be successful even if a complete DNA profile could be obtained and dodo clones successfully hatched by inserting their DNA into surrogate eggs (Emu, Ostrich or the Nicobar pigeon if the egg size is similar to that of the dodo-if dodo egg size is even known). Also for a successful reintroduction a significant portion of Mauritius would have to be cleared and kept clear of all invasive species that would prey upon the dodo, its eggs or its young, which is not likely to be something that could realistically be accomplished. Also, realistically there are probably much more important species to focus on saving from becoming extinct. In the long run it is probably not worth the exorbitant amount of time, effort, and money it would take to even try to get a viable dodo to use for a captive breeding program for reintroduction. Those efforts and money would be better spent restoring the ecosystem of Mauritius and preserving species that still have viable populations.

  191. Teva Mayer says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first, in approx. 1690. The Rodriques solitaire was extinct by 1778.

    2. A subfossil ibis specimen has been found on the Reunion island while no other dodo-like fossils have been found. It is assumed, and now held in scientific belief that the accounts of 16th century explorers were actually referring to this Reunion ibis and had mistaken it for a dodo-relative. DNA comparisons also place this subfossil in the ibis genus.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is a similarly giant, ground dwelling pigeon fro m Fiji. It is only slightly smaller than the Dodo and is considered closely related to crowned pigeons, which is also the case with the Dodo.

    4. The Rodriques solitaire is considered both taller and heavier than the Dodo. The Dodo’s max weight is considered to be 51lbs (this being “in captivity”; wild Dodos are thought to have peaked at 47lbs) and based on skeletal structure, described as shorter than the solitaire. The solitaire “male’s” weight is approximated at 46-62lbs.

    5. This is because no useable DNA samples have been extracted from the current fossils we have of these species. Descriptions of appearance rely on paintings/drawings from explorers and their written accounts of these organisms. The skeletal fossils are the only hard evidence we have from which to make educated guesses.

    6. Based on observational accounts, the Rodriques solitaires were often seen striking each other with their wings and their hardened wing knobs. They had a keeled sternum, which meant increased strength in pectoral muscles, allowing them to use their wings as weapons. In all extant species with wing knobs or “carpal spurs”, they are used in territorial interactions. Combined with the fact that the island of Rodriques had a climate and habitat that affected the availability of resources, it makes ethological sense that the solitaires would have needed territorial displays to compete for the best resources. The Dodo is considered distinctly opposite in all of these. They did not have a keeled sternum, so their pectoral muscles were very weak and their wings were drastically reduced. They were never seen by explorers competing territorially with each other, most likely (scientists assume) because their island habitat of Mauritius had a stable climate and flourishing seasons, rendering competition for resources unnecessary.

    7. The establishment of tortoise trade on Rodriques lead to increased human activity on the island. Vegetation was burnt off, solitaires were hunted to feed the tortoise seeking humans, and the cats and pigs that were released inevitably consumed solitaire eggs and chicks.

    8. In attempting to determine the preferred habitat of the Dodo, observational accounts place it in the drier coastal woods on the south and west sides of the island. The Mare aux Songes swamp, where most Dodo fossils have been excavated from, is located on the southeast side of the island, near the sea. This supports the first hand accounts of their “preferred” and limited habitat.

    9. Specimens of this tree have also been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp and its seeds/fruits were considered part of the Dodo diet. In 1973 it was considered practically extinct (only 13 specimens left) due to the absence of the Dodo, whose consumption of the seeds prompted germination and increased distribution throughout the island. We now know this is not the case, as the seeds have been able to germinate without the use of Dodo digestive tracts and while the tree is rare, its populations number in the hundreds today.

    10. It’s been suggested that the palm seeds and fruits ingested by the Dodo and the tortoise were only edible to the Broad-billed parrot after digestion and excretion by these species.

    11. The red rail was a similar looking large, flightless species found on Mauritius. Its been found that many accounts of “Dodo” observations were actually recording red rail sightings. If this were the case, then the actually known last sighting of the Dodo places it in 1662 and not the previously thought 1681.

    12. After the arrival of humans, numerous Mauritius endemic species went extinct. The Dodo is the more famous, more widely described organism it seems and therefore many of the other important and evolutionarily astounding species (including birds, reptiles, mammals, invertebrates, and plants) that existed at the time but were soon driven to extinction by human and non-native species interactions are yet to be studied fully or scientifically described.

    Opinion + Concluding Statements

    It’s astonishing to me how just a few hundred years ago we had no grasp of our own affect on the natural landscape and its flora and fauna. How terribly conceited we were to just assume we could take and take and change the environmental composition of foreign habitats without any consequences. And to think we didn’t even believe in extinction due to religious reasons! I think, although I am not saying the era we are in now of massive anthropogenic climate change and environmental irresponsibility is much better, we should still be proud of our own evolved mentality and environmental awareness. To think, if we had continued with such attitudes as the explorers and colonizers of the 16th century, almost everything would be extinct today. It says a lot about the importance of broadening our worldviews, being open-minded and self-aware, and continuing our scientific education and discovery. These are the cornerstones from which we can build a conservation-focused society and although things look bleak more often than not, we really have come a long way and have accomplished a lot of great things in terms of environmental preservation and ecosystem conservation.

  192. Thurman Johnson says:

    1. The dodo was driven to extinction earlier.
    2. There was potential confusion on the dispersal of dodo birds and the description of the flight-impaired Ibis lends itself to simply being a white variety of dodo. The lack of fossil evidence for such a bird coupled with remains of a species of Ibis suggest that the classification of the reunion solitaire was a mistake.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is a case of circumstances similar to those of the dodo. It is a member of Raphine, only slightly smaller than the dodo, and thus remains from this bird could be used to extrapolate information that could explain aspects of the dodo’s lifestyle.
    4. Comparing the largest possible weights, the Rodrigues solitaire was heavier in its extreme though both birds are estimated to have averaged between 20lb and 50lb. The comparison is further confounded by proposals that the weight varied drastically with the season. As far as height is concerned, the Rodriguez solitaire was slightly taller.
    5. In the case of both species, there is limited physical evidence to draw upon for information. The less material is available for analysis, the less available physical and mechanical extrapolations become.
    6. The island of Rodrigues allegedly received less rainfall and thus the availability of resources on the island could possibly have been limited compared to Mauritius.
    7. The tortoise trade was a primary driver of human traffic and decimation of the island. The burning of vegetation, introduction of domestic animals, and relentless hunting ultimately left the solitaire with no alternative to extinction.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp was found to contain a high quantity of dodo remains and is thus extremely valuable to the studies of these birds due to the material it provides.
    9. The “dodo tree” is a drupe that produces a fruit similar to the peach. Highly valued for it’s timber, the conservation of this tree became of high priority when the population was reduced to 13 individuals. In a pseudoscientific chain of assumptions it was asserted that the tree relied on the now extinct dodo for the seeds to germinate properly. The seeds were force-fed to turkeys and though some of the resulting seeds did give rise to three trees, it was later concluded that the tree needed no such treatment to germinate.
    10. The three foraged on similar material an in certain cases may have even competed with one another for resources.
    11. The red rail was endemic to an island near Mauritius. This coupled with it’s superficial similarities to the dodo may have confounded early distinctions between the two and muddied the exact point at which one or the other went extinct due to observations being attribute to incorrect species.
    12. The circumstances that ultimately wiped out the dodo were so comprehensively destructive and relentless that the entire ecology of the island was devastated. The extinction of the dodo and tortoise could be merely considered drops in the bucket that is the collective extinctions and slaughter the island sustained.
    13. If genetic material can be recovered from remains then the dodo could potentially be brought back from extinction. But for the time being, yes it is extinct.
    14. An artificial egg environment could be constructed, with a giant pigeon embryo receiving dodo genetic material. I’m not saying it would work but that’s what I’d propose first.
    Opinion:
    It was interesting reading more in-depth about the dodo extinction circumstances. The utter disregard for the surrounding world that humans have demonstrated time and time again is appalling. These animals are incredibly interesting, as are all cases of island gigantism for that matter. But unfortunately, given limited population sizes, they are often some of the most easily extirpated by human actions. I would love to see them brought back from extinction, in a perfect world we’d develop the genetic engineering capabilities to do so for many more of the species we’ve carelessly wiped out.

  193. Antonia Prudholm says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.
    2) There was once thought to be a white Dodo on the island of Reunion but it is now believed that it was just a confusion with the Reunion ibis and inaccurate depictions of Dodos as being white.
    3) Because the Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to be related to crowned pigeons (like the Dodo and Rodrigues solitaire) and is only slightly smaller than the Dodo and Rodrigues Solitaire.
    4) The Dodo may have been larger (3.3 ft. tall vs 35 in. in length) but may have weighed slightly less (51 vs 62 lbs.) although both are thought to have fluctuating weight. It is hard to really tell which was larger.
    5) Very few accounts have been found on the physical appearance of either birds that are reliable. Also no complete specimens exist.
    6) For the Rodrigues solitaire there is evidence that it used its wings in combat which is not apparent for Dodos. It is also believed Dodos had less reason to evolve aggressive territorial behavior as Mauritius has less seasonal variation and more rainfall than Rodrigues.
    7) Their extinction coincided with the tortoise trade. Hunters burned of the vegetation on the island, hunted the Rodrigues Solitaire and released cats, mice etc. onto the island.
    8) Most Dodo specimens have been found in this swamp and it seems to give light to the kind of habitat the Dodo preferred and inhabited.
    9) One scientist believed that the tree was going extinct because seeds would only germinate after passing through the GI tract of the Dodo. He therefore concluded the true was doomed for coextinction. Others have since said this is wrong because some seeds , although rare, have germinated since Dodos went extinct and therefore it is not endangered because Dodos went extinct.
    10) It is thought that the extinct Broad-billed parrot relied on the Dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete the seed which would then become the parrot’s food.
    11) Due to misinterpreted sketches of red rails as Dodos after their extinction.
    12) Because the Dodo was only one of the first of many endemic species on the island to go extinct. Since the extinction of Dodos many other species on the island have gone extinct and still more are severely endangered.

  194. Tori Stuckey says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.
    2. The Raphus solitarius was most likely the Reunion ibis because earlier accounts were attributed to white dodos on the island but no fossilized remains of the Raphus solitarius were found on the island of Reunion.
    3. Like the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire, the Viti Levu giant pigeon is thought to be related to the crowned pigeon. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was only slightly smaller than its counterparts.
    4. The Rodrigues solitaire was most likely larger.
    5. It’s difficult to describe these birds because no complete specimen of either was ever found.
    6. The Rodrigues solitaire had bone fractures consistent with combat. The weather on Mauritius varied affecting the availability of their resources and causing them to be more territorial. The dodo bones that were found showed that they did not possess some of the traits that made the Rodrigues solitaire better at fighting.
    7. The people who traded tortoises brought in cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks, destroyed their habitat and hunted the Rodrigues solitaire.
    8. Many of the dodo fossils that were found were from the Mare aux Songes swamp.
    9. Some scientists argued that the tree only existed because the dodos ate the seeds and they germinated after going through their digestive tract.
    10. The dodo, the broad billed parrot and the tortoise all lived on the same island and had relatively large beaks and heads they could’ve used to break open seeds.
    11. In the 17th century there were several conflicting accounts of the red tail that resulted in descriptions of several different species. Some believe that accounts of the dodo in this century were actually that of the red tail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the beginning. Following the 17th century more and more humans were present on the island causing extinction of several large flightless bird species that inhabited Mauritius.

  195. Kali Arce says:

    1) The dodo was extinct by about 1680-1681. I found two sources that gave differing extinction dates of the Réunion Solitaire. One noted it was extinct by 1746, another that said that it was extinct by 1778 soon after European explorers settled in its habitat and had introduced animals that became predators, pests and competitors.

    2) Early travelers may have confused the Reunion Ibis with it being a white dodo because of early paintings that existed of white dodo birds.

    3) According to Wikipedia, the size of the fossils of this pigeon found in October 1998 in Fiji was almost as large as the dodo bird and the Rodrigues Solitaire. The remains, resemble the dodo bird and the Rodrigues Solitaire and is thought that these two species may be an offshoot of the crowned pigeons of genus Goura.
    4) The Rodrigues Solitaire was larger and heavier in weight. According to Wikipedia, the Dodo was about 3.25 feet tall and shorter than the Rodriques Solitaire,
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the Dodo because there are no complete dodo specimens that exist that can verify its plumage color or body size or skeletal composition. Also, many of the personal written accounts of dodo birds are unreliable due to the fact that not many were drawn using live or actual birds. Discussions about the dodo’s morphology that I personally researched noted a few things. One is that the size of the population may have been a variable with age and sex of the bird due to seasonal fluctuations in food supply and/or obesity being in captivity. Dr. Julian Hume and Dr. Lorna Steel Scientists at the Natural History Museum, UK, studied records from the 18th and 19th centuries of these birds. They noted that sexual size dimorphism is particularly pronounced in the solitaire Pezophaps solitaria but less so in the Dodo, and this may have resulted in contradictory descriptions and illustrations.
    6) Drs. Julian Hume and Dr Lorna Steel Scientists also noted that the Rodriques solitaire was known to be aggressive had a knob-like ball on the wings a deadly weapon, used by the bird to defend territory and its mate. The so called ‘musket ball’ was indeed a weapon and that it was not found in any other bird. Both sexes had musket balls, but it was only the larger adult males, which grew to about the size of a goose, that had the largest growths, and they seemed to only occur once the bird had obtained a breeding territory and a mate to defend. It looked just like the lead balls that were fired out of an 18th century musket, which is why the early travelers to Rodrigues gave it that name,” It would have needed strong wings muscles which may lead scientists to believe that the Rodrigues Solitaire had a large keel on the sternum for the attachment of the wing muscles compared with that of the dodo. The Dodo, researchers say defended its territory with its beak and not with its wings as did the solitaire. Adult dodos could be aggressive, territorial and fight back. it was well-adapted to its environment without mammals its demise was due to the introduction of predators it had not evolved to cope with.
    7) The tortoise trade can be correlated with the extinction of the Rodrigues Solitaire. Habitat loss from traders burning vegetation and hunting the birds in large quantities in the short amount of years reduced the population dramatically and the eggs and chicks were eaten by the cats and pigs introduced to the island.
    8) Two things make MAS significant to swamp studies. First, it has no records about pre human contact on the native ecosystem and it has a 4000-year-old fossil bed of which 50% of those animals are extinct.
    9) In the early 70’s, botanist Stanley Temple attributed the decline of juvenile trees to the extinction of the dodo bird. He hypothesized that the tree and the bird had a mutual relationship and believed that by the birds eating the fruit, its hard gizzard which had a stone in it and called gastroliths helped in the scarification process which enabled it to germinate. He proved this by feeding the fruits to turkeys who had similar gizzards to dodos and propagated the seeds which grew. After he published his paper it was found that both his methods and his conclusions were flawed because he didn’t plant non-ingested seeds to compare germination rates. He also failed to acknowledge a previous study that indicated that the seeds didn’t need to be worn down by a bird’s digestive tract to germinate. Also, a forester of Mauritius claimed that the tree may not have grown in the same habitat as the dodo. He even had proof that there was a population of trees that were at least 75-100 years old that surely was not germinated by the dodo. Other scientists mentioned that perhaps the extinct tortoise and maybe even other animals now extinct had a role in assisting the germination.
    10) The tortoises and dodos ate the hard palm fruits and excreted the seeds. The broad-billed parrot may have relied on the tortoise and the dodos for that reason so it had clean seeds to feed on.
    11) Wikipedia stated that all late 17th-century accounts of the dodo referred to the red rail, because by that time, the dodo already was extinct. The dodo was extinct by about 1680-1681. The last mention of a red rail sighting is from 1693, and it is thought to have gone extinct around 1700, due to predation by humans and introduced species.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is just the “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because of increasing anthropogenic factors that started the extinction process in the first place. Additionally, climate change will bring exotic species to over take habitats, diseases may also reduce populations.
    13) I believe there is a possibility of the dodo being found alive as several were said to have been transported to other countries for personal collections. There isn’t too much documented about if they were successfully bred or what had become of them. Animals are good at hiding and there are animals that are still being discovered that have never been seen by humans.
    14) I agree with Michael Archer a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales who has championed de-extinction for years and said “if we’re talking about species we drove extinct, then I think we have an obligation to try to do this.” On the other hand, using the de-extinction process on certain species may not be worth it. Before de-extinction is done, many factors should be taken into consideration like, what the value or benefits will be if we brought certain species back. Scientists in favor of de-extinction argue that there will be concrete benefits, such as, increased and improved biological diversity from having more gene pool, having vital processes-pollination, habitat maintenance-that once was done by extinct species.

  196. Zadie Bielejec says:

    1. The Dodo was the first to become extinct
    2. The reunion Ibis was first considered a Raphine species because of supposed shared characteristics with the dodo (color, ability to fly), however, years later it was reclassified upon fossil examination.

    3. The giant Pidgeon studies are relevant to studying the Dodo because the two birds are related taxonomically and anatomically. Studying the giant Pidgeon can help researchers understand things about Dodo.

    4. The Dodo is perceived to be shorter and thicker while the solitaire is thought to have been taller and lankier. There is variation of both species in size but it seems the general consensus is that the solitaire was taller and heavier.

    5. It is difficult to create a good picture of what the Dodo and Solitaire may have looked like because both species have been extinct for decades. The only way to determine what they looked like is through fossils and pictures, both can be hard to derive an accurate description from.

    6. It appears that Rodrigues solitaire was highly territorial and the Dodo was not because of differences in their environment. The Rodrigues solitaire lived in a more restricted environment where resources were scarce, this is thought to have caused the species to become aggressive and highly territorial. The Dodo had a less restrictive environment and did not develop the aggressiveness, it’s thought that they were pretty docile birds.

    7. Humans that were involved in the tortoise trade caused habitat degradation by burning and destroying vegetation. While they were mostly interested in tortoises the habitat they destroyed was also used by other animals so it had a negative effect on other species including the Dodo. Humans also brought nonnative species who preyed upon the Dodo and their eggs.

    8. The Mar aux Songes swamp is the location where most of the Dodo remains were found, studying this swamp and the remains gives researches a lens into their habitat and resource requirements.

    9. The controversy surrounding the Tambalacoque tree is if the Dodo actually had an effect on its population and ability to transport and germinate. On one hand the Dodo is thought to have helped the tree reproduce by ingesting its seeds, on the other hand there is also evidence suggesting that other species were or could have also been involved with Tambalacoque reproduction.
    10. The diet of the Broad Billed Parrot may have been directly connected to the Dodo. The Dodo would eat seeds and excrete them, these seeds are thought to have been the parrots primary food source. They would not have been able to digest these tough seeds if not eaten and partially broken down by the Dodo first.

    11. The red rail causes confusion of extinction dates because in some records both names are used to describe the same bird. This means that some of the records are misleading to researchers. When looking back on historical records it can be impossible to tell which bird is being referred to.

    12. The extinction of the Dodo was only the “tip of the ice berg” because many species on Mauritius were not able to adapt to the changing environmental conditions. The species living on the island were highly adapted to the specific island conditions so that when new predators and diseases were introduced many were not able to cope with the changes and became extinct.

  197. Ashley Finnestad says:

    1. The dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2. The previously described “white dodo” is thought to have been a feature due to albinism, taxidermy, a juvenile feature, or artistic license. There is no fossil or DNA evidence of a separate dodo species.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was found in the subfossil material from Fiji (another Island), and is another large flightless pigeon. It is slightly smaller than the dodo and the solitaire and likely related to the crowned pigeons.
    4. The solitaire was slightly larger and heavier than the dodo, based on estimations.
    5. It is difficult to describe either the dodo or the solitaire because no complete skeletons exist. Illustrations and written accounts must be used as the primary evidence for external appearance.
    6. It appears the solitaire was territorial because of features such as the knobs in their wrists, which in existing species are used as weapons, with no exceptions. Also, evidence of fractures in their wing bones. Dodo’s had these fractures, but they also had weak pectoral muscles and smaller wings. The island habitat of the solitaire had more seasonal variation which typically causes more territorial variation. ON the other hand, Mauritius had a more stable habitat, lessening the need for habitat disputes.
    7. The tortoise trade was likely the main cause of the extinction of the solitaire because with the traders came animals such as cats and pigs that eat their eggs and chicks. The traders also burned off the vegetation in their habitat and hunted the solitaires.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is important to the studies of the dodo because that is where most of their subfossil material has been collected from. Before finding species in this location only four specimens were known to exist.
    9. It was previously believed that the dodo tree depended on the dodo for propagation of its seeds and with the decline of the dodo the trees were also in decline. The seeds were believed to be unable to germinate unless they had gone through the digestive tract of the dodo. We now know today the seeds can germinate without digestive tract abrasion or they can be propagated by other animals.
    10. Dodos may have provided a service for broad-billed parrots and cylindraspis tortoises. It is thought that as they ate palm fruits and excreted the seeds, these seeds then became fruit for the previous two animals.
    11. It is possible the extinction dates for the dodo are confused as all of the accounts in the late 17th century might actually be referring to the red tail, after the dodo had already gone extinct.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the tip of the iceberg because the effects that caused their extinction did not only affect them. The large habitat destruction, the rats, cats, and pigs and what they prey on or who they compete with, as well as direct hunting by humans affects many other animals on the island. Additionally, the extinction of dodos themselves may affect other animals such as the broad-billed parrot and cylindraspis tortoise that may have depended on the seeds in their droppings for food.

  198. Elizabeth Miller says:

    1. The Dodo was the first to go extinct.
    2. A potential thirds species of raphine is now considered more likely to be the reunion ibis because of a matched description of behavior as well as potential bleaching during taxidermy and record of juvenile plumage rather than adult plumage.
    3. The Viti Levu giant is relevant to the studies of dodo biology and evolution because of anatomical/physiological similarities to the Dodo.
    4. The Rodriques solitaire appears to have been taller than the Dodo but the Dodo may have been heavier. It is hard to know which was larger given deviations in gender and the potential that captive dodos may have been kept fatter than wild dodos.
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or Rodrques solitaire because living specimens of either species have not been recorded for hundreds of years and views of the birds may have been misrepresented in existing records and sketches.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial because of different resource availability between the two species, the dodo also lacked a keel, which the Rodriques solitaire possessed and since the Rodriques solitaire was known to use its wings in combat it suggest dodos may have fought each other less.
    7. The actions of the tortoise trade affected the Rodriques solitare through the burning of their habitat and introduction of species that preyed upon the birds.
    8. The significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp is that it is where the majority of the dodo remains we currently have and has given us information on the dodos habitat requirements.
    9. The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” is whether or not the dodo had an effect on the Tambalacoques reproduction. The tree was thought to be in a large population decline and there was a thought that the seeds needed to pass through the dodo in order to germinate (this is largely because many of the remaining trees were found to be of an age that correlated with the extinction of the dodo). This has been essentially disproven with researching suggesting that extinct species of tortoise or parrots may have dispersed the seeds and with potential for current tortoise species to take over the role.
    10. The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo may be linked to that of the extinct broad-billed parrot and the cylindraspis tortoises as broad-billed parrots may have relied on dodos and the cylindraspis tortoise to eat palm fruits and excrete the seeds which the parrots would eat.
    11. The red rail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo because the word dodo was used to refer to both species interchangeably and some recorded sighting of the dodo may have actually been of the red rail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo was only the “tip of the iceberg” for extinction of Mauritius as it was the first of many species to go extinct as a result of human influences after being isolated for hundreds of years. The species had not evolved to cope with the pressures that were introduced.

  199. Nicole Ackley says:

    1) Dodo birds went extinct before Rodriques Solitaire

    2) The potential third species of raphine is likely the Reunion Ibis due to physical such as color

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon bird has a similar build to that of the dodo. Observing this bird gives insight to how the dodo might have moved and functioned on earth.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, the solitaire was larger and taller than the dodo. Records of the dodo show that it was usually stouter than the solitaire.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the dodo and the Rodriques solitaire because records of these two birds are limited. Scientific evidence and observations are few and not as detailed as they would be if the birds had been alive in the past ~80 years.

    6) The evidence that the Rodriques Solitaire was more territorial than the dodo is in their anatomy, particularly their wings and posture, as well as their environment. The notion that the Rodriques solitaire has limited resources showed that it may need to comete more than that of the dodo.

    7) Tortoise indirectly influenced the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because of introduction of new species that may have led increased rates of competition for the bird. The traders also altered the birds habitat by physical processes such as burning.

    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp contains a considerable amount of fossils.

    9) The dispute over the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) is whether or not the dodo or the tortoise, and other animals in that time period, distributed its seed.

    10) The dodo consumed foods that could later be consumed by the parrot; The food that the dodo had been consuming might not have been digestible to the parrot in its original form.

    11) Authors sometimes used the terms ‘red-tail’ and ‘dodo’ interchangeably, making it hard for scientists to distinguish between the two when looking at records.

    12) The extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because humans had been introducing non-native species for a time and had been putting other species through the same fate. However, the extinction of the dodo was an extinction that sent an extinction affect throughout the whole community of native species on the island.

  200. Kyle Blomberg says:

    1. The dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2. The possible third species was thought to be different due to its coloration, but it is now thought that the specimen was either a juvenile, bleached during taxidermy or was simply an artist’s rendition.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the study of dodos because evidence suggests that that the two are taxonomically related.
    4. Based on evidence, the Rodriques solitaire was taller, but it is difficult to tell which species was actually heavier as ranges varied greatly.
    5. It is difficult to tell the physical appearance because there are no living specimens, and none have existed for over a century. This means that the only way to tell is through fossils, which only given basic structure, and human accounts which are unreliable.
    6. Different resource pressures resulted in different behaviours. The dodos had more resources available which made them less territorial as a whole.
    7. The arrival of tortoise traders let to destruction of habitat, and the introduction of species that hunted the Rodriques solitaire.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is where most of the fossils have been recovered, which means it likely provided adequate habitat for dodos.
    9. The controversy surrounding the dodo tree is that the oldest individuals of the species are approximately 300 years old, similar to when the dodo went extinct. This has led to the conclusion that the tree needed dodos to eat the fruit and digest it in order to allow the tree to reproduce.
    10. The Broad-bill parrot likely needed the dodo and tortoises to consume fruits and pass seeds which became the parrots food.
    11. The red rail and the dodo appeared similar, which may have confused those who saw the birds which made it difficult to pinpoint the extinction of the dodo.
    12. Due to the lack of natural predators on the island many species went extinct after the introduction of new species when humans arrived. The endemic species could not adapt to the changes as a result of humans, and the dodo is only the first as other species went extinct.

  201. Cody Williams (Hauff) says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.

    2. A third species of raphine now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because of its physical characteristics like color and age.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon appears the be a close relative of the dodo because of its similar characteristics such as size and physiology.

    4. The solitaire was taller and heavier than the dodo.

    5. It is difficult to describe the physical characteristics of either species because they have been extinct. This makes it difficult to know their feather patterns and other physical characteristics. However, we know their general looks due to fossils.

    6. The dodo lived in an environment that had more food than the Rodriques solitaire. This made the solitaire more territorial because they had to compete more for food.

    7. Tortoise trade influenced the extinction of the dodo because the tortoise traders would reduce the solitaires habitat.

    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is significant because the most dodo remains have been recovered here. This makes researchers think that this was prime habitat for the dodos.

    9. The controversy is about the effect of the dodo on the reproduction of the Tambalacoque tree. This tree is mainly found where dodo was located. The tree species is starting to die out. It is thought that the stomach acid in dodos is the only way the species can reproduce and unless another species with similar acid eats the fruit of the tree, it will eventually go extinct.

    10. It is thought that the broad billed parrot would eat the seeds after they have passed through the dodo.

    11. The red rail is another species of bird that has a similar anatomy to the dodo. People discovering these birds got the drawing of the two mixed up.

    12. Introduction of invasive species after human settlement and habitat degradation has had a strong effect on Mauritius. This is likely the cause of the dodos extinction and it will likely result in more extinctions.

  202. Ryan Constable says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Dodo went extinct first.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Because of the white coloration, but it could have been albino or juvenile.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    They were thought to be similar in size and physiology due to related evolutionary adaptations of species that adapted to islands with a lack of competition and lots of access to food and space.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodriques solitaire was thought to be taller and over all larger.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    There are almost no full skeletal remains from a single individual, there are no living individuals left, and there were no studies done to accurately portray either while they were still alive. Due to no living individuals it is also hard to determine coloration and plumage.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The Rodriques solitare had well-developed muscle scars on the bones show that they were not completely vestigial, and may have been used for display behavior and balance. Unlike the Rodrigues solitaire, there is no evidence that the dodo used its wings in intraspecific combat. Researchers also found that the dodo’s breastbone lacked a keel, unlike the Rodrigues solitaire that was known to have used its wings in combat. This suggests that dodos fought each other less than Rodrigues solitaires fight each other.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Its disappearance coincided with the tortoise trade between 1730 and 1750, when traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires, and released cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks. In 1755, Joseph-François Charpentier de Cossigny attempted to obtain a live specimen but after searching for 18 months and offering large rewards, he couldn’t find any.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    A large amount of subfossil material has been collected here.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The tambalacoque, also known as the dodo tree, was thought to be dying out on Mauritius, to which it is endemic. There were supposedly only 13 specimens left, all estimated to be about 300 years old. Stanley Temple hypothesized that it depended on the dodo for its propagation, and that its seeds would germinate only after passing through the bird’s digestive tract.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad-billed parrot may have depended on dodos and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds, which became food for the parrots.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Crude drawings of the red rail of Mauritius were misinterpreted as dodo species so due to the drawing it was hard to depict the different species and thus the time of their last siting and extinction.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Introduced species were still left to live on the island were they are now competing with the natural species which will continue to degrade the biological system of Mauritius. The extinction of the dodo was only the beginning or “tip of the iceberg”, which is now the situation that is occurring on Mauritius.

  203. Katelyn Bartleson says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    A potential third species of raphine is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because people once confused the Reunion ibis thinking it was a white dodo that lived on an island near to Mauritius called Reunion. This was during a time when paintings of white dodo birds emerged, furthering the confusion.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology because it is considered to be evolutionarily related to crowned pigeons, just as the dodo and Rodriques solitaire are.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Most comparable data given in the “Description” section is of the weight of the dodo or Rodriques solitaire. Based on this information on weight alone, The Rodriques solitaire was larger than the Dodo. The Rodriques solitaire could weigh us to 62 lbs and the Dodo up to 51 lbs. Weight is not an accurate representation of size measurement because it is variable and fluctuates between seasons with resource availability and with sex.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dod or the Rodriques solitaire because no complete dodo specimen exist and illustrations and representations in written data are used to determine the natural appearance.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was likely more territorial than the dodo because the breastbone of the dodo was found to lack a keel. Rodriques solitaire breastbone do have keels and were known for using their wings in combat.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade developed around the same time of the Rodriques solitaire extinction, the events coincided. Tortoise traders came to the island and destroyed habitat while bringing cats and pigs that preyed upon Rodriques solitaire chicks and eggs.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    Most subfossil material of the dodo has been foound in the Mare aux Songes swamp. This suggests that the Mare aux Songes swamp was the ideal habitat for dodo, as it’s location on Mauritius provided it with a high diversity of plants and moisture, making it idea dodo habitat. This also suggests that the limited distribution of the dodo within the Mare aux Songes swamp could have contributed to its extinction.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    In 1973, the dodo tree population was thought to be dwindling with only 13 individuals of 300+ age remaining. Stanley Temple suggested that the seeds of the dodo tree needed to be passed through the digestive system of the dodo for germination. He tested this theory by feeding 17 wild turkeys the fruit of the dodo tree. Some seeds were destroyed by the turkey’s gizzard, but of the remaining seeds, 3 germinated. Temple did not use a control group in his experiment so the results are undefined. Other theories of the dodo tree include that the tree is not going extinct at all, but confused for another tree species since they are all juvenile, or that the dodo tree decline may be caused by domestic pigs and crab-eating macaques. Some scientists suggest that the tortoise would have been more influential to the seed dispersal and germination of the dodo tree then the dodo was.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo bird could be linked to that of the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because the parrot and tortoise depended on the dodo bird to eat palm fruit and excrete the seeds for them to eat. The extinction of the dodo reduced the food availability for the parrot and the tortoise.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red tail potentially confuses extinction dates for the dodo because all sightings of the dodo from the late-17th century are now thought to actually be of the red tail. The dodo became extinct before the red tail, and until 1860 when fossil evidence was uncovered, the only evidence of the red tail was from illustrations and sightings were mistaken for the dodo.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions of Mauritius because following the extinction of the dodo, the other organisms on the island were not very well adapted to the change in the ecosystem without the dodo. This, ontop of habitat fragmentation and invasive species from human influence contributed to more extinctions of the isolated island of Mauritius.

  204. Tesa Gilbert says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first, but it wasn’t realized until about two centuries later.

    2. The Reunion Ibis was once considered to be a dodo species because of its white color, due to the confusion of dodo birds being described and painted as a white species. However science proved based on bones that the Ibis was not a dodo species. In addition to the fact that there are only ibis species surrounding the island these birds are found on.

    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to dodo evolution because there are still several species of large (some flightless) pigeons alive today. Studying other species, even the ones that are extinct like the dodo or the Viti Levu helps science understand the environmental pressure that dodoes and other similar species may have undergone in their evolution on islands. It helps scientist understand the actual stature, size, reproduction, and diet of the dodo and what niche they may have filled before humans introduced invasive species to their island. Viti Levu may also help us understand the extinction pressure exerted by humans that may have been placed on the dodo.

    4. The Wikipedia article suggests that the dodo, even at one meter tall, was shorter than the Solitaire bird but the dodo was more robust.

    5. It is difficult to accurate physically describe the dodo or the solitaire because all physical descriptions are based off of sailor observations and often were later interpreted into a drawing or painting many months or years after the individual had seen the bird. Verbal accounts are notoriously inaccurate. The few drawings or paintings that came from live birds may have been altered by the artist or the bird’s physical appearance had been altered through the act of captivity itself via fattening and improper diet.

    6. The solitaire has more robust wings and a larger keel suggesting that they may have used their wings in “combat” because they could not fly. The dodo however has no such evidence in its skeletal structure. This may indicate that the solitaire bird were more aggressive or territorial than the dodo.

    7. Tortoise traders brought in invasive species, destroyed habitat to both find tortoises and solitaire birds, and they hunted these birds as food for their journeys home with their catch. The time period for the tortoise trade coincides with the last sightings of the solitaire birds, it may not have been the sole factor for their extinction but the tortoise trade was definitely an added pressure.

    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp is one of the main places on the Mauritius Island where dodo remains have been found in larger numbers. This area provides evidence of the bird’s existence and gives scientist skeletal remains to possibly rebuild what the bird might have looked like and give evidence of its ecological importance on the island.

    9. The dodo may have eaten the fruit from the dodo tree and may be one of a few species that the tree relies on in order to disperse its seeds and allow them to germinate after being passed through the dodo’s digestive tract. Since the dodo’s extinction the number of dodo trees has declined dramatically. Some scientist dispute that the dodo was the only species the tree relied on or that the tree is even in danger at all. Some suggest due to its similarity to other species it might be easily confused and underrepresented in surveys. Others suggest that it the trees decline is due to introduced species that can out compete the dodo tree for resources. Regardless the dodo tree may go the way of the dodo.

    10. The way the bill of the dodo was shaped and its broadness demonstrates similarities to the tortoise and the broad-billed parrot suggesting that they might have had similar diets. Eating fruits, nuts, and seeds. It may be possible that they fed on crustaceans and mollusks like other large pigeon species.

    11. The illustrations and descriptions of the red rail are similar to that of the dodo and often the name dodo had been applied to the red rail even though it was a separate species. The similarities in accounts of the two species obscure the actual time frame when the dodo went extinct.

    12. The dodo is one of many species that went extinct on the Mauritius Island. There were many more that went extinct from hunting, habitat destruction, and the introduction of new species that either could out compete them or would prey upon them. And many others that still survive have been devastated from the dramatic changes that took place over a century. The dodo is just the most commonly known animal to go extinct.

  205. Kimberly Kramer says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    -The Dodo was first to become extinct.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    Initially this animal was thought to be related to the Dodo because there had been reports of seeing dodos on the same island, however no dodos lived there. Eventually a subfossil ibis was found which supported the separation of this bird from raphine and more appropriately as an ibis.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    It is thought to be related to crowned pigeons.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodrigues solitaire was taller but more slender than the dodo.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    There are few credible sources that include either descriptions or drawings that were made while observing the animal.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The location where the solitaire lives had less rainfall and more seasonal variation, so in order to survive it had to be more willing to fight for the already limited resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    Tortoises were being traded and hunted mercilesslely, and much of the habitat was being burned and destroyed in order to more easily reach the few surviving tortoises left. This destruction in habitat may have limited the habitat available to the solitaire. Regardless, the tortoise trade and the solitaire’s extinction were at roughly the same time, so there must have been some type of link.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The Mare aux Songes swamp is where the majority of Dodo fossils have been found, and it is very close to the sea, supporting the idea that this bird inhabited drier coastal areas. A lack of juvenile remains however might suggest that either the birds had low recruitment or that possibly they reproduced elsewhere.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The main controversy over this tree was the idea that with the extinction of the dodo, the tree was also going “co-extinct” because it relied on dodos to abrade the seeds so that they could germinate. However other scientists thought that the seeds could germinate (though rarely) without being abraded, and others proposed that other bird species would fulfill the role that the dodo had played.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad billed parrot may have relied on the dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises to eat palm fruits and excrete their seeds in their dung. The parrot would then be able to consume the seeds as food.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The name dodo was used synonymously with red rail birds after the dodo became extinct, so after 1662, all references to the dodo might actually be to the red rail. Descriptions of the dodo post 1662 more closely match that of the red rail including the consistency of the meat and appearance of juveniles.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Mauritius is a relatively isolated island that had allowed for the evolution of species that were completely separate from other animals across the world. Those species became specialists for that specific type of habitat and were only adapted to coinhabit the land with the native species. Each had influenced each others own evolution with no outside influence, and so were in some ways tied to each other. As a result, they fulfilled different ecological niches and did not often compete with one another. However with the introduction of rats, cats, and other non native and invasive species, this delicate balance quickly changed. These generalist animals that were adept at adjusting to new environments did so upon their release as ships visited the island and unknowingly (or recklessly) released them. This influx pushed out specialists such as the dodo and drove them to being very threatened. The few survivors were killed by explorers or sailors for food, fun, etc, or removed for captivity (but likely with no intent for breeding and merely sold as individuals that were bizarre). These combined effects still wreak havoc on the species living there today because the few surviving species must work to compete with the invasive species for only limited resources. And on top of that, because many of the native species co-evolved together, they became inter dependent upon each other. Thus when one species becomes extinct, it severely hampers the success of another species. We may continue to see severe extinction events at this location even if we were to completely remove all of the invasive species right now. Having lost so many species already may have many unrecognized consequences in the future.

  206. Jessica M Houston says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct first.

    2) The third species of raphine was actually determined to be an ibis because they found a subfossil ibis on the island in which the solitaire was originally found, instead of any fossils of dodo-like birds. That fossil matched that of the solitaire.

    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon was a large, flightless pigeon that was only slightly smaller than the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire, meaning that it is probably related to the dodo in some way, or at least they shared some similar ancestor.

    4) The dodo was probably wider, but shorter than the Rodrigues because the dodo had a larger skull and beak, a rounded skull roof, and smaller orbits. The dodo’s neck and legs were proportionally shorter, and it did not possess an equivalent to the knob present on the solitaire’s wrists.

    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance because the only records of the appearance of the birds when they were alive (1598-1662), came from written descriptions or illustrations. Unlike pictures or having the bird alive and visible, their appearance was pretty much up to the viewer’s interpretation.

    6) There is evidence that the Rodrigues participated in fights, such as the fractures in their wing bones and the presence of carpal spurs and knobs which must have been used in disputes. The reason they were probably more territorial than dodos, was because dodos had weaker pectoral muscles and weaker wings for fighting in comparison. The solitaires would have need territorial fighting more as well since their island of habitat and much more limited resources, so they may have evolved to be more aggressive.

    7) The disappearance of the solitaire coincides with the tortoise trade, which resulted in burning off vegetation, hunting of tortoises and solitaires, and the importation of cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks.

    8) A large amount of the submossil material for dodos, has been discovered the Mare aux Songes Swamp on Mauritius, as the swamp has preserved the remnants of the species.

    9) Essentially, the controversy regarding the rare dodo tree, is that it was claimed to only be able to germinate its seeds by passing through the gut of dodo, and thus being distributed. Thus, with the extinction of the dodo, the dodo tree was also dying out. However others say that even though the tree is rare, the tree might have been able to germinate through other animals or that the decline of the tree is exaggerated because there could possibly be more trees out there. It’s simply hard to know because the young trees look similar to other species and don’t have tree rings to determine their age.

    10) Dodos would consume the seeds of the dodo tree and distribute them to germinate, and both the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoise would also eat similar hard, palm nuts and excrete the seeds.

    11) Because the red rail can look similar to a dodo, it is thought that all late 17th century records of the dodo, are all actually referring to the red rail since the dodo had already been extinct.

    12) The extinction is only the tip of the iceberg, because there are many more species that have gone extinct on Mauritius such as tortoises, fruit bats, or the broad-billed parrot, but there are also still many more to come. The case of the dodo is only a single, well researched species that we just now have gathered some sort of understanding of. Mauritius is an island home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals, but humans are threatening species to an unknown extent.

  207. Annalee Cameron says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2. Raphus solitarius is now considered to be more like the Reunion ibis because 19th century naturalists found discrepancies between paintings and old descriptions of the birds. They found that the birds were actually sexually dimorphic, and the paintings were only of females, making them look like a Dodo.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it was thought to have been related to the crowned pigeons. It was only a bit smaller than the Dodo and Rodriques solitaire.
    4. Based on the limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire may have been larger
    5. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because no complete Dodo specimens exist, making it very difficult to determine its plumage and coloration.
    6. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire is highly territorial because they are equipped with large bony knobs on their wings that were used in combat.
    7. The tortoise trade has the do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire because during the tortoise trade, traders burnt off vegetation, imported cats and pigs that preyed upon the solitaires eggs, and the solitaires were also hunted.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp was significant to Dodo studies because they found no juvenile Dodo’s in this swamp, indicating that they produced a little amount of offspring that matures very quickly, and that breeding grounds were not near the swamp.
    9. The controversy regarding the Dodo and “the Dodo tree” is that some people believe that the dodo tree went extinct along with the dodo because it relied on the dodo for propagation; the seeds would only germinate after passing through the dodo’s digestive tract. But other scientists believe that this was exaggerated, and that other species also distributed the seeds across the landscape as well.
    10. The forage ecology of the dodo may be linked to the broad-billed parrot and the tortoises because scientists believe that all 3 of these species used the dodo tree as a food source. Some people believe that the parrot depended on the dodo and the tortoise to eat the fruit of the dodo tree and excrete their seeds.
    11. The red tail confuses extinction dates for the dodo because it was thought that the dodo and the red tail were different species, but there were 17th century accounts that referred to the dodo as red tail. The dodo has an estimated extinction date is 1693, but the dodo was probably extinct by 1700.
    12. The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because it was an area with several endemic species that experienced little environmental pressures. So when humans colonized the islands, these species could adapt to the rapid changes.

  208. Evyn Anderson says:

    1. Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo was first to go extinct, although there has historically been much confusion as to the actual extinction date of the dodo.

    2. Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    There was less known about Rodrigues solitaire than the Dodo, so it is definitely possible that these species, which were thought to be two separate ones, were actually just Reunion ibis. Further evidence that these two birds are likely the same is that they both inhabited the same small island of Reunion.

    3. Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    This species is relevant to the studies of Dodo biology because it was also a large flightless bird inhabiting an island thought to potentially be related to the dodo, and also because there are viable remains that are available to study whereas there are no viable dodo remains.

    4. Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    Based on what is known from evidence of the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire, it can be assumed that the Rodrigues solitaire was larger

    5. Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    This is because no full specimens of either the dodo or Rodrigues solitaire exist, so external appearance cannot be known for sure.

    6. Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    This is because the island that the dodo inhabited, Mauritis, had less seasonal variation which meant that more resources were available year-round, and that the dodo did not have a reason to be as territorial as the Rodrigues solitaire, who inhabited a different island with more seasonal variation.

    7. What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Rodrigues solitaire became extinct during the same time that the tortoise trade was going on. During this time, traders destroyed vegetation and brought in other animals to help hunt the solitaires.

    8. What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    This is where much of the fossil material of the dodo, which we use to study, was found and collected.
    9. Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    This type of tree has a long history and was thought to coincide with the dodo. In the early 1970s the “dodo tree” was thought to be going extinct, and one scientist made the connection that the reason these trees were declining was because they relied on the dodo bird to eat the fruit that the tree produces and disperse the seeds through its feces in order to germinate. This controversy has since been contested.

    10. How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    Remains of these two extinct species as well as the dodo are often found in the same places or together, which suggests that they lived in close habitats and ate the same or similar diet. There is also evidence to suggest that the dodo and the Cylindraspis tortoise both ate fruit and dropped seeds through feces that the broad-billed parrot relied on for forage.

    11. How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    Some primary sources from the 17th century confuse this bird for the dodo, which would have already been extinct by this time.

    12. Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Many native species from this island are now extinct.

  209. Delaney Anderson says:

    1. The dodos went extinct before the Rodriques Solitaire.
    2. A raphine is now considered more likely than the Reunion ibis because of its juvenile plumage, aka its color which was lighter.
    3. The Viti Levu giant pigeon was relevant to studies of the dodo because of their similar anatomy and relatedness.
    4. The dodo was noted as being more robust and shorter than the solitaire, while the solitaire was recorded as having a larger weight range of 37-62 lbs vs the dodo’s at 23-47lbs.
    5. It’s difficult to physically describe the birds because our idea is based on a variety of drawn pictures and written reports which all vary widely.
    6. The dodo was presumably less territorial than the solitaire because the dodo had less competition for resources. It never needed to be territorial.
    7. The tortoise trade affected the extinction of the solitaire because “traders burnt off vegetation, hunted solitaires and imported cats and pigs that preyed on eggs and chicks”.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp brought attention to the issue of human involvement causing the extinction of an entire species.
    9. The controversy of the dodo and the dodo tree lie in the belief that the dodo was necessary to germinate the tree species because of its digestive tract.
    10. The dodo’s foraging ecology is thought to be linked to the Broad-billed parrot because it is thought to have eaten and digested fruits that were later passed and able to be eaten by the parrots.
    11. The red rail confused the extinction dates of the dodo because many accounts of the dodo being sighted in the 17th century were actually referring to the red rail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo on Mauritius is considered to only being the beginning of the extinctions of species on Mauritius because of the variety of invasive species introduced to the previously isolated island.
    I thought I remembered doing this from Restoration Ecology so I found my response from last time and figured I’d use that. Hope this isn’t an issue cause I don’t feel my answers have changed.

  210. Matt Jasper says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.
    2. The third species of raphine is now considered to be more likely the reunion ibis because the species documented was either an albino, bleached, juvenile, or simply poorly described.
    3. Because it too underwent a similar evolutionary path and was related to the crowned pigeons.
    4. The Dodo appeared to be shorter yet more robust while the solitaire had a larger weight range.
    5. It’s difficult to describe the appearance of the dodo or Rodriques solitaire because there is very little examples of their true appearance.
    6. Rodriques solitaire appeared to be highly territorial because, unlike the dodo with abundant resources, the solitaire was on an island with scarce food which increased competition.
    7. The extinction of the solitaire coincided with the tortoise trade. The hunters of tortoise and solitaire burnt vegetation and released predators to hunt the solitaire.
    8. The mareaus songes swamp studies was significant because they discovered the first dodo skeleton including several others which told them that the area was suitable habitat for them
    9. The controversy behind the dodo and “the dodo tree” is if the dodo actually helped in the seed dispersal of “the dodo tree”. Others believe that there were other species that played a role to help “the dodo tree”.
    10. The dodo diet ended in the dodo excreting seeds that would then become the food for the broad-billed parrot and the Cylindrapsis tortoises.
    11. The red rail causes some confusion with the extinction dates of the dodo because the name dodo was used interchangeably with red rail.
    12. The extinction of the dodo is only the “tip of the iceberg” because every species on that island evolved without interference from outsiders. When humans began introductions of others there was no way for those species to cope and their populations would decrease as a result.

  211. Rebekah Tegtmeier says:

    1) The Dodo went extinct before the Rodriques solitaire.
    2) A potential third species of raphinae (Raphus solitarius) is now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) because raphinae species most likely lost their ability to fly long before Reunion emerged and fossil fragments found on Reunion do not indicate raphinae species ever existed there.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution because it has been proposed that they share a common ancestor, crowned pigeons (goura).
    4) Based upon limited evidence, the Rodriques solitaire may have been larger than the dodo.
    5) It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because there are limited credible drawings and descriptions, few complete fossils and no complete specimens to study.
    6) It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so because there is no evidence (i.e. knobs on wrists or fractured wing bones) that the dodo used its wings in competitive combat like the Rodrigues solitaire evidentially did.
    7) The extinction of the Rodriques solitaire corresponded with the tortoise trade because traders removed vegetation, hunted solitaires and imported non-native domestic animals that preyed on eggs and chicks.
    8) The Mare aux Songes swamp is the location were abundant dodo fossil remains were found, significantly contributing to the scientific knowledge of dodos, and the local geology and climate were important for the preservation of fossils.
    9) The controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” revolves around the idea that the dodo and the tree may have exhibited a mutualistic relationship that lead to coevolution.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo may be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises because they all have been proven to have lived together on a small island (MAS) with similar limited resources.
    11) Red tail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo because many of the written records in the late 1600’s report red tail and dodos as one and the same, referring to them using red tail and dodo interchangeably.
    12) The extinction of the dodo was the notorious “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because it became extinct only a century after it was discovered, due to human involvement, and it was a notable bird through many historical journal entries and illustrations. The history of the dodo provides a great case study of the effects of human disturbance of the ecosystem because they were isolated for hundreds of years prior to anthropogenic activity.

  212. Katie Traub says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.

    2. It was thought that it was either albino or the lighter color came from bleaching during taxidermy.

    3. They are both flightless birds with a similar size and physiology, and the species are thought to be related.

    4. The dodo was shorter, more robust, had a larger skull and beak, and shorter legs. But it is difficult to tell the exact size of the birds and the estimated weighs of the two fall within the same range.

    5. There is no specimen of wither species so descriptions are based off of writings and drawings that may be inaccurate.

    6. The island of Rodrigues gets less rainfall and has more seasonal variability than Mauritius, which makes it more likely that the solitaire had to compete for resources more than the dodo.

    7. When traders came between 1730 and 1750, they burned vegetation, introduced cats and pigs that ate eggs and chicks, and hunted the solitaires.

    8. Most of the dodo remains were excavated from the Mare aux Songes swamp. It can give information about the preferred habitat of the dodos.

    9. The remaining trees have ages that are around 300 years old, which is about the same time that the birds went extinct. It was thought that the birds were needed for germination and that is why the number of trees declined.

    10. Parrots may have needed dodos and Cylindraspis to excrete seeds in order to get food.

    11. Red rail and dodo were used interchangeably at one point, which makes it difficult to tell which one was being referred to.

    12. It is only the tip of the ice berg because many species are shrinking in population size, becoming threatened, or going extinct since the extinction of the dodo, and for the same reasons that have been brought on by human activity and the introduction of new species.

  213. Nancy Avalos says:

    The Dodo Exam

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    The birds are in the same family.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The rodrigues solitaire may have been larger.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Both the dodo and the Rodrigues Solitaire have been extinct for many centuries now and there are not photographs of them. Scientists have to rely on fossils to differentiate the two which is difficult.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The dodo lived in an environment in which the food supply was not as limited as for the Rodrigues Solitaire. The Rodrigues Solitaire may have had to use aggression to obtain resources.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The tortoise trade was the reason settlers arrived to Rodrigues in the first place. During the time spent in the area, the settlers destroyed their habitats, introduced predators and hunted them to extinction.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp contained fossil remains of the dodo.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    Scientists believed that the dodo bird aided the tree with seed dispersal because the tree population declined once the dodo went extinct. However, it was found that other organisms can disperse the seeds.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The dodo and the tortoises would eat the palm fruit and excrete seeds for the broad-billed parrot to feed.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red tail was very similar to the dodo.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The extinction of the dodo is one of the many problems taking place on Mauritius.

  214. Dustin Mutch says:

    a. The Dodo went into extinction from 1660-1690, before the Rodriques disappeared roughly late 1700’s.

    b. The third species of Raphine (Raphus solitarius) is thought to be more likely the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires) due to behavior and physical features. This confusion initially occurred from a lack of detail documentation gathered by the sailors. It is now believed that the sailors witnessed an abnormal coloration of a juvenile Reunion ibis.

    c. The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the study of Dodo biology and evolution due the similarities in anatomy and genetic structure. These two species are also members of the same family.

    d. From the limited evidence, it is believed that the Rodriques solitaire was tall and slim in relation to the Dodo who is believed to be long legged and stout.

    e. It is difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire because “we” lack historical documentation. Most of the general knowledge documented consist with fossil records and stories that have been passed on through out generations.

    f. It appears that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial from the physical characteristics gained through evolution and its common habitat. The Rodriques fossils have a knob on each wing and show signs of “bone fractures”. It is believed that these fractures were received from high levels of competition provided by a lack of resources. The Dodo on the other hand, appears to have had weak pectoral muscles, small wings, and lived in a heavily resourced habitat.

    g. The “tortoise trade” brought more people to the island. This lead to sailors and traders altering landscape structure by removing vegetation, introducing invasive species and hunting bird populations. The accumulation of these negative forces allowed the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire.

    h. The significance of the Mare aux Songes Swamp is located in eastern Mauritius along with the fossil remains of the Dodo.

    i. The controversy regarding the Dodo and the “Dodo Tree” (Tambalacoque) arose from the understanding that the Tambalacoque was dependent on the Dodos for seed dispersal. However, after further research it is now understood that the decline of this tree species is related to the loss of tortoises spreading the seed.

    j. The extinction of the Broad-billed parrot was connected to the extinction of the Dodo and Cylindraspis tortoises because the dodo and tortoise provide a food source for the parrot. The lack of species interaction allowed the sustainability of these species to collapse.

    k. The term “red-rail” and Dodo were used interchangeably in multiple historical records due to the similar anatomy until it was discovered in the 1700’s that these two species of bird are separate.

    l. The extinction of the Dodo is considered the “tip of the iceberg” because multiple species among the island have demonstrated the same population decline. This decline correlates with the arrival of humans and the alteration of habitat that follow.

  215. Shelby Vasquez says:

    1. The dodo went extinct first.
    2. People described a white dodo on the island of Reunion, however through the examination of fossils, it was determined that these creatures were actually ibis species. The skeletal shapes of the animals were not that of dodos.
    3. The pigeon species was very closely related to the dodo. They are in the same family and had similar physical characteristics.
    4. Considering weight, the Rodriques solitaire is larger than the dodo.
    5. Since there are no specimens alive, the external characteristics of the birds are very hard to distinguish and estimate. We must rely solely upon the written characteristics of the people that were present to see them.
    6. The Rodriques solitaire seemed to have bone developments in its wings for fighting. Also, its territory had less resources. The dodo did not have this adaptation and did not have such limited resources.
    7. Human interference when trying to gather the turtles promoted their extinction. They had to fight for resources as their land was destroyed and many predators were introduced into their territory that were not always present.
    8. The Mare aux Songes swamp location has been the location of many fossils being discovered. It also gave us a rough idea of popular habitat types that the dodos inhabited.
    9. The tree was once thought to have declined because of the extinction of the dodo. Many thought that the dodo was the ultimate seed dispersal method, and when it vanished, the seeds had a hard time being moved around. However, this theory was challenged and many think that tortoises were better seed dispersal methods than the dodos and that there were many other species participating as well. Some also think that the main cause was the introduction of invasive species that hurt the population numbers of the trees.
    10. The broad-billed parrot may have fed off of the seeds that were made less rough and easier to chew and digest by being consumed and then produced from the dodo and the tortoise. The seeds were too hard for the bird to crack open with the assistance from the other species.
    11. The red rail was often mistaken for the dodo. It created confusion as the species was found after the dodo’s extinction. It made finding the actual extinction date for the dodo complicated as there were many recordings made by people who claimed to have seen a dodo but most likely saw the red rail instead.
    12. The extinction of the dodo is just the tip of the iceberg because as humans took over this island, the destruction that we brought through deforestation, harvesting, and introducing species that were not native to this land made many species go extinct and altered the living conditions of the island forever.

  216. Sean Alexander says:

    1) The Dodo was the first Raphinae species to go extinct
    2) The Raphine was originally thought to be a distinct species due to the unique coloring. However, scientists now believe this could be due to either albinism or human altercation with taxidermy
    3) Genetically speaking, the Viti Levu giant pigeon is within the same lineage as the dodo. This can help us studied evolutionary patterns and family traits.
    4) The Rodriques was both taller and larger compared to the dodo
    5) While using human models, fossils, and artistic depictions, we can derive a close estimate of what we believe these birds looked like, there is no complete evidence for what the morphology of the bird truly was.
    6) Often behavioral indicators can be used to determine patterns such as territorialism. The Dodo was often found with greater levels of resources indicating that it did not need to compete as much with other individuals for these resources. General bone structure and shape indicated that the rodriques were also more active indicating a territorial lifestyle
    7) Traders of the tortoise species would burn vegetation to gain access to individuals in the mid 1700’s, coinciding with the extinction of the rodriques. This indirectly resulted in a loss of habitat and resources.
    8) Mare aux Songes swamps are a large source of fossils for the dodo. It’s been hypothesized that this is due to a high prevalence of required habitat and food resources.
    9) Originally, scientists believed that Tambalacoque trees required dodos as a vector to spread and germinate its seed, due to the chemical characteristics of the dodo digestion. Now, research is working to determine if the relationship between these species is as strongly correlated as first thought, and whether their extinctions did coincide.
    10) It is likely that the broad-billed parrot coevolved in a mutualistic relationship with the dodo birds. As the dodo’s would digest and pass seeds from several plants and fruits, the parrots would collect and use these disposed seeds as resources.
    11) Again, due to our lack of direct observation, most of the information we have of these species are older documents and second hand accounts. It is likely that the red rail was confused as the dodo, extending the possible date of the dodo extinction.
    12) Like many species today, humans have created problems for species that rely on balanced, undisturbed ecosystems. While the dodo is the most common species to go extinct largely because of anthropogenic affects, many other species in this geographical location eventually reached extinction as well with our arrival.

  217. William Habel says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    The Dodo was the first to go extinct.

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?

    Only the coloration differed from the raphine. Genetic testing would likely indicate that it was a reunion ibis.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).

    The Dodo and Viti Levu giant pigeon are very likely related genetically. Therefore its study is relevant to learning about the Dodo.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)

    The solitaire was taller, but both have similar wingspans. It’s hard to compare weights as both are extinct.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?

    Both are extinct, and any captured prior to extinction would have had different characteristics to natural birds, as they were in captivity.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?

    Dodo’s had plentiful resources and limited competition. They had no need to be territorial.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?

    The tortoise trade attracted settlers to the solitaire’s native island. The settlers greatly modified the solitaire’s habitat, driving it to extinction.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?

    There was many Dodo fossils found within the swamp.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?

    It was once thought that the tree was reliant on the Dodo for seed propagation, as most of the surviving specimens were from the period when Dodo’s were extant. However, it is now theorized that the tree may have depended on other extinct species, or none at all. And was truly in decline from island settlers.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?

    The parrot required the Dodo and tortoise to eat palm fruit and excrete the seeds. The seeds, now partially digested would become the food for the parrots. The parrots cannot eat the palm fruits directly without the intermediary digestion of the tortoise or Dodo.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?

    The birds used to share names, and are similar in appearance, therefore the two extinction dates sometimes get confused.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?

    Introduction of invasive species and modifying of extremely delicate and connected habitat caused many extinctions in the years after settlement. The Dodo just happened to be one of the first.

  218. nashika says:

    1) The Raphinae that went extinct first was the dodo.
    2) A third species of raphine was now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis because the Reunion ibis was white and had a quite different fossil.
    3) The Viti Levu giant pigeon is relevant to the studies of dodo biology and evolution because it’s thought to be related to the dodo.
    4) The article does not specifically say which is larger. It says that the dodo was shorter yet more robust. Maybe the Rodrigues was taller but the dodo could have been more robust.
    5) Its difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodrigues because there are no photos and they have been extinct for so many years.
    6) It appears that the Rodrigues was highly territorial, but the dodo was possibly less so because it was known to have weak pectoral muscles and less of a wing span in addition to more resources were available on Rodrigues due to less rainfall and more seasonal variation.
    7) The tortoise trade has to do with the extinction of the Rodrigues because their extinction coincided with the disappearance of the tortoise.
    8) Mare Songes swamp is where a large amount of subfossil dodo materiel has been found.
    9) The controversy regarding the “dodo tree” is that it was once thought that the dodo was the primary source of dispersing young trees and it was disputed in 2004 as it was thought that the tortoise was more likely responsible for this.
    10) The foraging ecology or diet of the dodo could be linked to the broad billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoise because they all fed on undigested droppings with seeds.
    11) The red rail potentially can confuse extinction dates for the dodo because the name had been transferred to the red rail after the dodo had become extinct.
    12) The extinction of the dodo is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius because of the introduction of man and various invasive species over time the island has experienced much extinction.

  219. Thania Barrios says:

    1. The Dodo was the first Raphinae to go extinct.
    2. The color of the juvenile birds was lighter so it is considered more likely a raphine than reunion.
    3. The dodo and the viti levu had a similar anatomy and relatedness as they were both flightless birds inhabiting an island. But the dodo had very little viable remains to be studied.
    4. Based on the evidence the rodriques was assumed to be bigger than the dodo.
    5. It’s difficult to describe the natural appearance because there are no full specimens of either species to study so the external appearance is not fully known or provable.
    6. The dodo did not have reason to be as territorial since their habitat had more resources available with less seasonal variation, and the rodriques experienced the opposite.
    7. Poachers that traded tortoises that resulted in the destruction of vegetation for the rodriques and also other species were brought to hunt them.
    8. The swamp is where many of the dodo fossils were found and used to study.
    9. The dodo tree was believed to be going extinct in the 1970s and it was believed to be because the dodo bird relied on the tree as a food source but would also help disperse the seeds of the tree. So when the dodo was threatened by extinction, so were the trees.
    10. Fossils of these species have been found together or in similar areas suggesting that they lived closely and could have shared similar diets. Both the dodo and the tortoise fed off of the fruit and seeds in the parrot’s feces.
    11. The red rail was confused for the dodo which was already extinct by then.
    12. There are many species from the same island that are now extinct, greatly due to human involvement.

  220. Nathan Pullen says:

    1. The Dodo went extinct first.
    2. Because of discoloring and it was thought to be a juvenile or albino rather than a third species.
    3. Because of their similarity physiologically they seem similar or closely related. They are thought to have shared a common ancestor.
    4. The Dodo may have been larger, but studies show that it isn’t completely clear.
    5. Because they have been extinct for long enough that knowing what they looked like alive isn’t clear. So, appearance isn’t clear.
    6. It appeared the Dodo ranged in a better habitat which had a greater abundance of food, but the solitaire had more competition for its resources.
    7. Because of the animals the traders brought with them. I.E. cats and pigs which ate the eggs of the solitaire.
    8. It was where the first Dodo skeleton was discovered.
    9. It is believed that the seeds belonging to the Dodo tree could only germinate after it has passed through the Dodo’s digestive tract. So, when the Dodo went extinct the tree was as well. However, this was debunked when studies suggested that the tortoise could also eat and disperse the seeds.
    10. Because it is believed that the parrot and tortoise could disperse the seeds after they went through the digestive tract, like the Dodo did.
    11. Because there was a sighting of what people thought was a Dodo, but it is believed to be a red rail instead. This confounds the exact extinction date.
    12. The ecosystem they lived in was fragile and very slow to adapt. So, in an ecosystem like that when one species went extinct the others followed shortly behind.

  221. marcus mcclung says:

    1) The dodo was first.
    2)It’s behavior and appearance/color
    3) It is the closest living relative of the DODO
    4) The R. Solitaire was larger and more robust.

    5) Because only pictures exist and they may be of only captive birds.
    6) Bone structure, the fat the dodo was seen as fat comparatively.

    7) It has to do with it because of the habitat fragmentation it brought with it, as well as invasive species that competed.
    8) It is where many dodo’s were extracted from. Without this swamp, there would not be as many specimens to study.
    9) It was first thought that dodo’s needed to ingest the trees seeds to germinate. It was argued whether or not the tree played a large part in the dodo’s extinction.
    10) They both grazed in the same area on the same fruits and trees.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    It was referred to as a dodo in the past.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    The variables of being on an island will also lead to the extinction of other species. Variables such as limited resources, fragmentation, and invasive species.

  222. Anna Aviles says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The Dodo went extinct (1693) prior to the Rodriques soliraire (late 1700s).

    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    This potential third species of raphine was considered to be more like the ibis due to its observed albino-like, white coloration from drawings or other artist’s renditions influencing the misconception.

    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution?
    The Viti Levu giant pigeon is important to the studies of dodo biology and evolution because, from observations, it had similar biological relatives and very similar anatomy to the dodo, differing by only a few factors, such as size.

    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Dodo bird was short and stout, the Rodrigues solitaire bird was taller.

    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The few remaining drawings and paintings that remain of these birds in their natural environment, and those that do remain were not made by scientists. The models for these were either captive birds or stuffed birds.

    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    The solitaire had large bony knobs in their wings that were thought to have been used during territorial aggression. Fractures found on the wing bones support this finding. The dodos did not have these knobs.

    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    People that hunt the tortoise on the island of Rodrigues led to the hunting of the Rodrigues solitaire bird.

    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The swamp(s) where the Mare aux Songes lived were also the source of many of the fossilized Dodo bones, which paved the way for further studies of the Dodo bird, including the finding that the area of Mauritius was the preferred habitat for them.

    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    The “dodo tree” was thought to be dependent on the Dodo bird for germination of its seeds. This led to the belief that the tree would follow the dodo bird to extinction. Further studies found that this relationship was not true as there were more trees found than expected under this belief.

    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    The broad-billed parrot depended on the dodos and the tortoises to eat the seeds and pass them so that it could get to them and eat them.

    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rails were anatomically similar to the dodos, and later depictions of them were confused with the dodos, so this documentation led to the confusion of the extinction dates for the dodo.

    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    Because on the island of the Mauritius, there are several species that are decreasing in population size due to the anthropogenic influences and environmental changes that they can’t adapt to, much like the dodos.

  223. Marissa Abbott says:

    1)The Dodo went extinct first
    2)The misconception was due to its white coloring, but was likely a different species or a poor rendition by an artist
    3) The two birds are believed to be related, due to similar anatomy and possible taxonomic connections.
    4) The Rodriques solitaire was heavier and taller than the Dodo.
    5) It is difficult as there are only fossils and inconsistent drawings of the birds.
    6) The abundance of food, or lack thereof, made the Rodriques solitaire more territorial, while the dodo had more food available.
    7) The extinction has to do with the fact that humans arrived, hunted the tortoises, altered native habitat, and brought cats and pigs that preyed on the young.
    8) The swamp preserved a large number of fossils, and gave insight to the habitat they may have lived in.
    9)It was thought that the seeds of the tree were dependent on dodo consumption to germinate, and that when the birds died off so did the trees.
    10) The dodos and the tortoises ate palm fruits, and the parrots then would eat the seeds.
    11) The red rail had a similar structure to the dodo, and made people think the dodo survived longer than they did.
    12) The dodo went extinct very quickly following the arrival of humans, and other species soon went the way of the dodo because of the destruction of the environment and invasive species.

  224. Sonja Bergerud says:

    1) Which Raphinae (the taxonomic group used for the Dodo and the Rodriques solitaire) went extinct first – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    The dodo went extinct first.
    2) Why was a potential third species of raphine (Raphus solitarius) now considered to more likely be the Reunion ibis (Threskiornis solitaires)?
    It was not representative of the actual coloration of the species.
    3) Why is the Viti Levu giant pigeon relevant to studies of dodo biology and evolution? (hint: see the “Divergence” section of Raphinae and also see Viti Levu giant pigeon).
    There is a historical lineage that points toward the giant pigeon and the dodo being related.
    4) Based upon limited evidence, which bird may have been larger – the Dodo or the Rodriques solitaire? (hint: see the “Description” section of the Raphinae)
    The Rodrigues solitaire is bigger by weight and height however both have the same wing span.
    5) Why is it difficult to physically describe the natural appearance of either the dodo or the Rodriques solitaire?
    Both of these animals have been extinct for over a hundred years and as such we are essentially making an educated guess based off of their fossils and drawings.
    6) Why does it appear that the Rodriques solitaire was highly territorial, but the dodo possibly less so?
    It appears that there were more resources available to the dodo compared to the Rodriques solitaire. So the dodo did not have to compete for resources unlike the Rodriques solitaire.
    7) What does the tortoise trade have to do with the extinction of the Rodriques solitaire?
    The traders burned the vegetation and introduced new species resulting in competition for the Rodiriques solitaire along with new predatory species.
    8) What is the significance of the Mare aux Songes swamp to studies of the Dodo?
    The first dodo fossil was discovered here along with many other later. It is thought that the area was suitable dodo bird habitat at one point.
    9) Briefly, what is the controversy regarding the dodo and “the dodo tree” – the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum)?
    It is thought that the dodo was necessary for the Tambalacoque tree’s reproduction. The stomach acid of the dodo bird broke open the seeds so that they were able to germinate. Without the dodo bird the tree will be unable to reproduce.
    10) How might the foraging ecology or diet of the dodo be linked to that of the extinct Broad-billed parrot and the Cylindraspis tortoises?
    These species would consume the nondigested seeds within the dodo bird’s excrement. Without the dodo bird these species were unable to forage for food.
    11) How does the red rail potentially confuse extinction dates for the dodo?
    The red rail has a similar anatomy to the dodo bird so when people saw drawings of them they often confused them with the dodo.
    12) Why is the extinction of the dodo only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” for extinctions on Mauritius?
    It appears that the species on the island have not had to adapt for thousands of years and the loss of one species has indirectly (or directly in some cases) affect the others. This ultimately results in spiral to where the species living on the island will eventually all go extinct unless something else occurs.