Scientists and Paleontologists at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, have scanned the only skeleton of the now extinct Dodo bird, creating the first-ever 3-D images of the bird and unshackling the species from the physical world.
There is only one complete skeleton of a dodo bird, sourced from a single specimen of the long-extinct, flightless species endemic to the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius. Other skeletons are thought to be an amalgamation of bones sourced from different specimens.
The new 3-D scans are allowing researchers to better understand how the bird actually looked, walked and behaved.
The 3D laser surface scans we made of the fragile Thirioux dodo skeleton enable us to reconstruct how the dodo walked, moved and lived to a level of detail that has never been possible before,” Leon Claessens, lead researcher on the project, said in a recent interview. “There are so many outstanding questions about the dodo bird that we can answer with this new knowledge.”
“We discovered that the anatomy of the dodo we were looking at was not previously described in detail,” Claessens told. “There were bones of the dodo that were just unknown to science until now.”
A more complete understanding of the bird’s bones will give researchers a better idea of how it’s muscle masses were shaped and arranged, revealing what movements the bird’s musculoskeletal setup allowed.