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About This Object

This specimen was made by the famous London taxidermy company Rowland Ward and bought for the museum in 1938. Dodo models were made using plaster casts of feet and a head. These were attached to a body covered in chicken or goose feathers with whole chicken wings added. The tail was made using tufts of ostrich or goose feathers.

Most models are based on paintings by seventeenth and eighteenth century artists. These usually show fat dodos with short legs. However, hardly any artists would have seen a real live Dodo and the paintings were probably based on crude taxidermy mounts. Since taxidermy as an art form was not well developed at this time it is unlikely that these mounts would be accurate (as with our Walrus).

Today, scientists working on Dodo bones have been able to develop a more accurate picture of what Dodos might have looked like. It seems that Dodos were probably much slimmer than this specimen and with longer legs.

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Past Exhibitions

  • After Life

    from 28 September 2013
    until 02 March 2014


Dodo (Raphus cucullatus)
Natural History

1 item (description level: whole)

Broad category
Natural History: Zoology, Birds
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  Raphus cucullatus
scientific name:  Raphus cucullatus
previous specimen name:  Didus ineptus
catalogue title:  Dodo
common name:  Dodo

Date collected
{earliest=1938, latest=1938, primary=true, value=before 26 September 1938}
Additional date information
date collected:  before 26 September 1938 
before 26 September 1938 
Additional preparator information
preparator:   Rowland Ward Ltd 
London, England, UK, Western Europe; Europe
Additional place information
made:  London 
Specimen form
Additional specimen form information
specimen form: taxidermy mount (overall)
specimen form: model (overall)

vendor:  Rowland Ward Ltd  Undefined - 1938-09-26

Related subjects
material:    modelling 
material:    taxidermy mount 

Record created 2007-07-30 by MMILLAN
Record last updated 2017-10-10 by CRANDALL