; class Aves, order Columbiformes)
An extinct family of large, flightless birds which had rudimentary wings and short tails. They were grey or brown, and Raphus cucullatus (dodo) had a large head and a heavy, hooked bill, while R. solitarius (Rodriguez solitaire) had a smaller head and a lighter bill. They were terrestrial, probably fed on fruit, and nested on the ground. There were two genera, with three species, known only from the Mascarene Islands. They became extinct in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.