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Dutch diaries and the demise of the dodo

Nature volume 429, page 622 (10 June 2004) | Download Citation



Arising from: D. L. Roberts & A. R. Solow Nature 426, 245 (2003).10.1038/426245a  Roberts and Solow1 have presented theoretical data to suggest that the dodo, Raphus cucullatus, of Mauritius may have persisted until 1690, some 28 years beyond its accepted extinction date of 1662. Here we analyse new historical data derived from records of hunting caches, noted by Opperhoofd (Chief) Isaac Joan Lamotius, which confirm that specimens of R. cucullatus were collected regularly for at least 26 years beyond 1662. We calculate a new extinction date, which differs by only three years from that calculated by Roberts and Solow, but which, using a statistical treatment similar to theirs, greatly narrows the confidence interval.

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Author information


  1. *Palaeobiology Research Group, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3QL, UK

    • Julian Pender Hume
    • , David M. Martill
    •  & Christopher Dewdney
  2. †The Bird Group, Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Tring HP23 6AP, UK

    • Julian Pender Hume


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Correspondence to Julian Pender Hume.

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