Did a climatic extreme kill 10.000s dodos?

Just recently our latest paper came out in the scientific journal ‘The Holocene’! Here we provide evidence that 10.000s of dodos and other vertebrates died in a very short period 4200 yrs ago! We have a dozen radiocarbon dates on fossils and all on bones suggest the animals died around the same time. There is evidence that 4200 yrs ago a major drought period occured. Besides affecting dodos there is evidence that the extreme drought affected human societies as well. It may have led to the collapse of the first Egyptian kingdom and affected societies in Asia. The morale of our studies is that in spite of these climatic extremes leading to mass mortality of dodos, the dodo and other species survived. This suggests that dodos were in fact very resilient to extremes.

There are still several questions to our findings: 1) Did the dodos really die simultanously or is the resolution of our datings to low? 2) How did they die? Although drought coincides with death, how the animals died is still unclear…

Find the link to our Holocene paper at cool dodo links.

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