The Rodrigues Solitaire was a giant flightless pigeon that, like its closest relative the dodo (Raphus cucullatus), became extinct soon after European explorers settled in its habitat.
They found that the so called ‘musket ball’ was indeed a weapon and that it was not found in any other bird. The largest they uncovered grew to 1.3 inches (3.3 cm), nearly as large as a ping-pong ball.
“There were even reports that it made a sound like thunder. To swing this large, heavy weapon so fast that it made a noise like thunder, it would have needed strong wing musculature. So it becomes clearly apparent why the Rodrigues Solitaire had a large keel on the sternum for the attachment of the wing muscles compared with that of the dodo. Also it explains why so many bones were fractured during fights.” [x]
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