It's the Bird Bones that have scientific peeps squawking.
Scientists said they likely have found a complete skeleton of the long-extinct Dodo bird. (image courtesy of birds.mu)
The Dodo was native to Mauritius when no humans lived there but its numbers rapidly dwindled after the arrival of Portuguese and Dutch sailors in the 1500s. The last recorded sighting of a live bird was in 1663.
An international team of researchers said they found the bones of the bird on a sugar cane plantation on the island of Mauritius off the east coast of Madagascar, and presented their findings at the National Museum of Natural History in the Dutch city of Leiden Friday.
No complete skeleton of a single Dodo bird had ever been retrieved before from an archaeological site in Mauritius. The last known stuffed bird was destroyed in a 1755 fire at a museum in Oxford, England, leaving only partial skeletons and drawings of the bird.
"We have found 700 bones including bones from 20 Dodo birds and chicks but we believe there are many more at the site," said Kenneth Rijsdijk, a Dutch geologist from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, who led the dig. - Chicago Tribune, AP and naturalis.nl