A very rare Dodo skeleton, one of about 12 in existence and the only one privately owned, is the centrepiece of a new display at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery.
Dodos are an icon of extinction, having been wiped out by humans less than 100 years after they were first discovered.
‘D is for Dodo, E is for Extinct’, explores the fate of several extinct species and British wildlife now threatened with extinction.
There have been five mass extinction events, the last took place about 66 million years ago; a natural catastrophe that wiped out around 75% of the Earth’s animals, including dinosaurs.
Many scientists believe that we are now in the sixth mass extinction event, the first to be caused by the activities of humans.
This new display, which runs until 2021, has drawn from Portsmouth’s natural history collections, recently made accessible through the current ‘Wild about Portsmouth Project’, which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Many specimens are being displayed for the first time in over a decade and have been supplemented with loans from Dinosaur Isle, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Bournemouth Natural Science Society.