The dodo bird was made famous by the writer Lewis Carroll, who chose it as one of the heroes of his fairy tale “Alice in Divokrai”. Meanwhile, this is not a fictional creature at all; the flightless extinct bird of the Mauritian dodo became its prototype. And now there were enthusiasts who decided to revive this creation with the help of modern technologies.
According to the Ancient Origins edition, enthusiasts were found in the Texas company Colossal Biosciences. And that’s why they became interested in this bird.
History of the dodo bird
The scientific name of the bird is the Mauritian dodo. He was not capable of flying as a forest bird up to a meter high and weighing up to 20 kg. This species is believed to have originated millions of years ago in Southeast Asia. And after the sea level rose, he found himself isolated in Mauritius, where, in the absence of natural enemies, he lost his vigilance.
For the first time, dodos saw people in the 16th century, when the Portuguese landed on the island, where at that time there was not a single human settlement. According to some versions, they gave the bird the name dodo from the Portuguese word doido, which means “fool”. It seems to be due to the extreme gullibility of these creatures. After centuries of existence without significant threats, they were not afraid of people at all, besides, they were slow and did not fly – they had no need to develop these qualities. And the sailors almost immediately began to hunt big birds.
Most likely, a combination of reasons led to the extinction of the species. In addition to the destruction of dodos as such, people, having settled in Mauritius, also began to destroy their habitat and brought dangerous predators to the island. The dodo also reproduced very slowly – they only laid one egg at a time. Scientists believe that the extinction of this species was the first recorded extinction caused by human activity.
The last such bird is known to have been seen in Mauritius around the end of the 17th century. And already in the 18th century, they moved into the category of fictional creatures along with mermaids and unicorns. To date, there is no single description of the species, because few samples of their remains have been found, and scientific data at the time of the disappearance of the species was not collected very carefully.
What scientists want to do
Gene-editing company Colossal Biosciences announced in January 2023 that it plans to try to revive Mauritian dodos. To do this, they want to use the technology of ancient DNA sequencing, gene editing and the principles of synthetic biology. Researchers call dodo – a symbol of extinction at the hands of man.
Previously, the company has already announced its intention to revive the woolly mammoth. Not all colleagues share Colossal Biosciences’ enthusiasm for this, calling their plans “fabulous science.” However, the researchers themselves claim that these initiatives raise public awareness and help fund research into endangered species and their conservation principles.
Earlier, GLOBAL HAPPENINGS wrote about the world’s largest living organism at the age of almost 14 thousand years, which was under the threat of destruction.
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