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Planet Earth

The Dodo Graveyard

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerJuly 4, 2006 9:40 AM


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In today's New York Times I have an article about the discovery of a vast graveyard of dodo fossils. The fossils date back an estimated 3,000 years. Dodo fossils are exquisitely rare, and so it's quite something to find an entire assemblage of them. But as the leader of the expedition that found them told me, that discovery alone would have been scientifically unimportant. What matters is the entire package. The scientists found fossils of lots of other animals and plants. It wasn't just the dodo that went extinct on the island of Mauritius. It was an entire ecosystem, and these fossils may help scientists understand how that ecosystem lived and breathed. Along with the article, I also talk about the discovery on the Science Times podcast this week (I come in at 8:40). And if you need more things dodo, check out the expedition blog.

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