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Scientists reportedly obtain full sequence of dodo genome; extinct bird may make a comeback

Flightless bird was last observed in mid-17th century.

Published: March 19, 2022 1:19pm

Updated: March 19, 2022 5:05pm

The dodo bird may make a comeback in the near future after recent confirmation from one scientist that the extinct animal's genome has been fully sequenced.

The dodo was first noted by Dutch sailors on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in the late 1590s. By the middle of the next century it had vanished from the island, having been hunted to extinction by humans and dogs; it also suffered a loss of its natural habitat due to travelers coming to the island. 

Speculation has long swirled as to whether or not the dodo could become de-extinct via the use of DNA technology. UC Santa Cruz Evolutionary Biology Professor Beth Shapiro, meanwhile, told the Royal Society this week that a working group of scientists had fully sequenced the bird's genome. 

"Yes, the dodo genome is entirely sequenced because we sequenced it," she said during a webinar. "It's not been published yet, but it does exist, and we're working on it right now."

Shapiro said the genome would be published at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.