, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 357–358 | Cite as

The dodo was not so slim: leg dimensions and scaling to body mass

  • Antoine LouchartEmail author
  • Cécile Mourer-Chauviré
Comments & Replies

Recently Angst et al. (2011) proposed a new mean body mass estimate for the dodo (Raphus cucullatus), of Mauritius Island, 10.2 kg, which is at the lower end of previous estimated intervals such as Kitchener's (1993). We question both their methods and results and propose a revised estimated interval.

Angst et al. (2011) used the lengths of the hindlimb three long bones and regression equations, based on a sample of living birds, between these lengths and body mass (Zeffer et al. 2003). But contra Angst et al. (2011), tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus lengths cannot be used to estimate body mass. This is because different bird species of the same weight can show considerable differences in the lengths of these two bones, hence in leg length, across families and orders, generally in adaptation to particular locomotory habits (terrestriality, running, perching, aeriality, swimming, wading …), mode of predation (e.g. ornithophagy) and others, with particular causes in insular contexts...


Sexual Size Dimorphism Femur Length Living Bird Dodo Sample Unreliable Estimate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, ENS de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1CNRS, UMR 5242, Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyon Cedex 07France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1CNRS, UMR 5276Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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