The Dodo and the Solitaire: A Natural History
This is the most comprehensive book to date on these two famously extinct birds. It contains all the known contemporary accounts and illustrations of the dodo and solitaire, covering their history after extinction and discussing their ecology, classification, phylogenetic placement, and evolution.
Both birds were large, flightless, and inhabited islands of Mauritius (the dodo) and Rodrigues (the solitaire) some 500 miles east of Madagascar. The first recorded descriptions of the dodo were provided by Dutch sailors who first landed on Mauritius in 1598 – within 100 years, the dodo was extinct. So quickly did the bird disappear that there is insufficient evidence to form an entirely accurate picture of its appearance and ecology, and the absence has led to much speculation. The story of the dodo, like that of the solitaire, has been pieced together from fragments, both literary and physical, that have been carefully compiled and examined in this extraordinary volume.
"A labour of love. There is great value in having all of this information in one, succinct package. This book is the definitive work on the subject."
- Jeffrey D. Stilwell, Monash University
Introduction: A Melancholy Visage
Notes on the Text
List of Abbreviations
1. Written Accounts: The Dodo
2. Written Accounts: The Rodrigues Solitaire
3. Contemporary Illustrations
4. Secondary Contemporary Sources and Miscellanea
5. Anatomical Evidences
6. The Natural History of the Dodo and Solitaire
Afterword: Memories of Green
Jolyon Parish took his degree in Geology and Palaeontology at the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, and wrote his D.Phil. at Oxford on the evolutionary history and paleobiology of Ankylosauria.
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