Restoration of a dodo (Raphus cucullatus)—Courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University

Extinct flightless bird (Raphus cucullatus) of Mauritius, first seen by Portuguese sailors about 1507. Humans and the animals they introduced had exterminated the dodo by 1681. It weighed about 50 lbs (23 kg) and had blue-gray plumage, a big head, a 9-in. (23-cm) blackish bill with a reddish hooked tip, small useless wings, stout yellow legs, and a tuft of curly feathers high on its rear end. The Réunion solitaire (R. solitarius), also driven to extinction, may have been a white version of the dodo. Partial museum specimens and skeletons are all that remain of the dodo.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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