Reconstruction of a Dodo

Karl Kästner and Hwa Ja Götz (MfN)

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Biological model building is a way of reconstructing extinct animal species. The model of a dodo (Raphus cucullatus), a large flightless bird on the island of Mauritius that went extinct around 1670, is an example of such a reconstruction. The basic information on which the model is based came from some skeletons and historic drawings and paintings. In a first step, the skeleton of the bird was put together, then a body with muscles was modelled in clay and finally cast in plaster. Feathers from chickens, ducks, swans and ostriches were arranged as in modern-day birds.


  • Title: Reconstruction of a Dodo
  • Creator: Karl Kästner, Hwa Ja Götz (MfN)
  • Physical Location: Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • Rights: © Museum für Naturkunde. All rights reserved.
  • Medium: Dermoplastic

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