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In louis carroll's Alice in Wonderland, a fictional Dodo bird leads a “caucus race” in which everybody wins a prize. The real Dodo, first discovered on the then-uninhabited island of Mauritius in the 1500s by Dutch and Portuguese sailors, was a loser in the race of survival. Flightless, large, and never exposed to human hunters, the Dodo bird would often haplessly approach European hunters. Because the meat of the Dodo was allegedly distasteful, the Dutch called the bird Walgvogel, meaning “bad tasting bird,” and the birds were quickly hunted to extinction. The last reliable sighting of the bird was in 1663. A stuffed Dodo bird was sent to Oxford University's Ashmolean museum, but was partially destroyed by a fire in 1755. A discovery in 2005 ...

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