The flightless dodo, Raphus cucullatus, was native to the island of Mauritius, in the south-western Indian Ocean. On 20 September 1598, a Dutch fleet commanded by Admiral Wybrant van Warwijck found a channel through the reef encircling Mauritius, and initiated the permanent settlement of the island. Less than a century later, the dodo was extinct, and other species followed rapidly.

Top: Illustration from Memoirs on the dodo by Sir Richard Owen, 1866.

Detail of a terracotta moulding of a dodo in the Waterhouse Building at the Natural History Museum, London.