The Oxford Dodo – the world’s most well-known example of the extinct bird — was shot in the head, studies have found.
Historians thought the flightless creature had been held alive in a 17th Century Greater london townhouse.
But latest forensic analysis of its skull discovered lead shot pellets, which were generally used to hunt wildfowl.
Scientists hope to test the broken phrases to establish where the bird met the end.
Oxford University or college has held the mummified head and foot at its Organic History Museum for more than three hundred years.
The specimen represents probably the most complete remains of a single dodo, and contains the only soft tissue examples known to exist.
It offers proved invaluable in learning more about the particular species, which became extinct seventy years after it was discovered over the island of Mauritius in 1598.
But the Oxford Dodo’s own fate had remained the mystery.
However , a team in the University of Warwick used forensic CT scanning to create a three-dimensional electronic replica of its skull.
The technology, which has also been utilized in criminal trials, showed evidence the bird had been shot in the back of your head and neck.
Prof Mark Williams, of the university’s Warwick Manufacturing Group, said: “When i was first asked to scan the particular Dodo, we were hoping to study the anatomy and shed some brand new light on how it existed.
“In our wildest dreams, we never expected to discover what we did. ”
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The Oxford Dodo originally came to the city included in a collection of specimens and artefacts published by John Tradescant in the 17th Hundred years.
Its remains wound up in the university museum, where writer Lewis Carroll is said to have discovered inspiration for the dodo character within Alice in Wonderland.
Museum director Prof Paul Jones said it was “a really great surprise” to learn lead pellets had been discovered embedded in the skin and the bone tissue of the dodo, which he referred to as an “icon of extinction”.