The phrase “as dead as a Dodo” may not ring true in light of the latest scientific discovery. Biological researchers at the University of California have discovered a “fantastic specimen” of the dodo bird’s DNA. As per the researchers, this was the final link in completing the extinct bird’s genome.
In simpler terms, this may mean that scientists can be one step closer in reviving the bird. Moreover, the avian bird is a famous example of an extinct animal. The avian creature was declared as such over three centuries ago. However, the Dodo’s legacy lives on in several literary works and artist’s depictions.
According to the New York Post, Beth Shapiro has stated her team will publish the full genetic sequence. This will take place at the National History Museum in Denmark. In favour of the discovery, she stated “Yes, the dodo genome is entirely sequenced because we sequenced it. It’s not been published yet, but it does exist and we’re working on it right now.”
The bird has quite an interesting history. It is a 3 foot tall flightless bird that was found on Mauritius Island. Dutch sailors recorded the now-extinct bird’s presence in 1598. Unfortunately, the bird vanished by the late 17th century. It was believed to have been wiped out by invasive species. Of course, hunting and habitat loss were also the usual suspects behind the bird’s disappearance.
On the other hand, bringing the bird back from extinction is not a piece of cake. Shapiro states that mammals are simpler to reintroduce. This is possible due to cloning, as was the case with Dolly the Sheep. However, birds are far more complicated. This is due to their reproductive system. Therefore, another method will have to be devised to reintroduce the species. Unilad also reports on this fascinating discovery.
The Nicobar pigeon is the dodo’s close cousin. Thus, there is also a possibility that the pigeon could have its DNA edited in favor of the revival. However, it will not be a full-fledge Dodo in that case, technically speaking. We observe this with great interest and hope the bird can be reintroduced back into the wild once more.