That new bird arouses some curiosity in Europe, without triggering a scientific analysis. When it became evident about one hundred years after its discovery that the species was extinct, all reliable information had also disappeared. The stuffed specimens had rotted. Descriptions made by travelers and the rare drawings could be questioned.
The dodo is probably the result of a trans-ocean migration of pigeons about ten or twenty million years ago. The vegetation was abundant on this isolated island and they had no predators. Over the generations the species changed. The bird became bigger and the wings were atrophied, making it impossible to escape when men came bringing with them pigs, monkeys, cats and dogs that ate the beasts and their eggs.
In 1865 a schoolmaster is allowed to search in a bog. The result meets the expectations : the bones are abundant, probably following an ancient flood which had engulfed simultaneously a large quantity of birds. A few bones were sent to English zoologists and the rest of the collection was auctioned in London by J.C. Stevens.
Most dodo bones available on the market come from the Stevens sale. Important discoveries have been made since 2005 but their export is prohibited.
For four decades a collector bought bones of dodo in order to create a skeleton as complete as possible. It managed it up to 95% with a part of the skull and a set of claws being the only missing elements. This composite skeleton is estimated over £ 300K for sale by Summers Place in Billingshurst (West Sussex) on November 22, lot 81. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
SOLD for £ 346K including premium