Brief Communication | Published:

Flightless birds: When did the dodo become extinct?

Nature volume 426, page 245 (20 November 2003) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

The extinction of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus L.; Fig. 1) is commonly dated to the last confirmed sighting in 1662, reported by Volkert Evertsz on an islet off Mauritius1,2. By this time, the dodo had become extremely rare — the previous sighting having been 24 years earlier — but the species probably persisted unseen beyond this date. Here we use a statistical method to establish the actual extinction time of the dodo as 1690, almost 30 years after its most recent sighting.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from $8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    in Studies of Mascarene Island Birds (ed. Diamond, A. W.) 5–89 (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1987).

  2. 2.

    Dodo: A Brief History (Universe Books, New York, 2002).

  3. 3.

    Biometrika 67, 257–258 (1980).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, UK

    • David L. Roberts
  2. †Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA

    • Andrew R. Solow

Authors

  1. Search for David L. Roberts in:

  2. Search for Andrew R. Solow in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew R. Solow.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/426245a

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.