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Scientists look to bring back dodo bird after hundreds of years

Jan 31, 2023


Genetic engineering company Colossal Biosciences announced its scientists are planning to bring back the dodo bird. The mission is a part of the company’s “new Avian Genomics Group,” according to a tweet from the company.

The dodo bird species famously went extinct hundreds of years ago. Colossal cites “the dodo bird’s final date of extinction sometime around 1690,” with stating “the last dodo was killed in 1681.”

“A mysterious bird of increasingly mysterious origins, the dodo bird ruled the roost on its native island of Mauritius – and nowhere else – until meeting an untimely demise,” Colossal writes on its website. “In the late 17th century, man brought an abrupt end to the dodo species. Today, Colossal is committed to bringing it back.”

Portuguese sailors discovered the dodo on the island of Mauritius off the east coast of Africa more than 500 years ago. According to Britannica, the birds were killed for food. Pigs and other animals brought to the island also ate dodo eggs, leading to extinction.

“The dodo bird is a symbol of man-made extinction. A glaring example of the price of carelessness,” Colossal writes. “Colossal is committed to reviving species lost to extinction in an effort to build a better world. Therefore, it is our intention to partner with the government of Mauritius to establish a foundation for the de-extinction and rewilding of the beloved bird we all dearly miss.”

The dodo bird mission is far from Colossal scientists’ first when it comes to bringing back extinct species. In 2021, the company announced it would attempt to combine woolly mammoth and elephant DNA to recreate a next-generation mammoth capable of surviving in the Arctic and helping restore that ecosystem.

Last August, Colossal said it would use a similar method to bring the Tasmanian tiger back to the island off the southeast tip of Australia. The tiger went extinct in the early 20th century.

USA Today contributed to this report.

Scientists at the genetic engineering company made famous for its mission to bring back the wooly mammoth are embarking on a new mission.
The dodo bird.
Colossal Biosciences — tweeting this morning that it’s launching an Avian Genomics Group — with its first mission to de-extinct the iconic bird.
The dodo was discovered on an island off the east coast of Africa more than 500 years ago.
They were killed for food — with pigs and other animals that were brought to the island eating the eggs.
The last dodo was killed in 16-81.
This is far from Colossal’s first experience with de-extinction.
In addition to the wooly mammoth — the company has also announced plans to bring back the Tasmanian tiger.