Biology Professor’s Research on Extinct Dodo Bird Makes International Headlines

International Business Times | Yahoo! News | Wired
November 7th, 2014 by 


With new insight on perhaps one of the most distinguished animals to have gone extinct in human history, Leon Claessens, associate professor of biology at the College of the Holy Cross, has had a busy week sharing his new discoveries about the dodo bird. Using 3D scanners of the only known complete skeleton from a single bird, Claessens has been able to identify how the extinct bird walked, looked, and behaved.

Media outlets across the world have turned to Claessens for his expertise in this area, including the International Business Times. In a recent interview, he describes the importance of the 3D scan of amateur collector Etienne Thirioux’s skeleton of the dodo bird: “The 3D laser surface scans we made of the fragile Thirioux dodo skeleton enable us to reconstruct how the dodo walked, moved and lived to a level of detail that has never been possible before. There are so many outstanding questions about the dodo bird that we can answer with this new knowledge.” Read the full article.

Claessens also spoke with Yahoo! News. “We discovered that the anatomy of the dodo we were looking at was not previously described in detail,” Claessens said. “There were bones of the dodo that were just unknown to science until now.” Read the full article.

Claessens presented his research on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, held in Berlin, Germany from Nov. 4 – 8. Two Holy Cross students, Adrienne Randall ’15 and Anna Kimelblatt ‘15, co-presented another poster out of the six dodo posters total that Claessens co-authored.

Media Coverage:

This “Holy Cross in the News” item by Jacqueline Smith ’15.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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