Since we mentioned the dodo we want to tell you the old but meaningful story of the dodo. Everyone has heard the saying, "Dumb as a dodo." That's because the dodo birds were real birds who lived on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. They had no local enemies. When man arrived in 1598 and found out the dodo was a tasty dish, the dodos who couldn't fly and were probably not very bright, just stood and stared until they were killed and broiled. They soon were extinct.
What has that to do with collecting? There was one stuffed dodo in the collection at the Ashmolean Museum in England for about 100 years. It was in sad condition, and in 1755 the trustees decided to destroy it rather than spend the time and money to preserve it. The dilapidated stuffed bird was just tossed into a fire. Only a leg and the head survived the flames. Fortunately the parts were saved by another museum and we hear the relics have undergone DNA testing.
We can only guess what the value would be today of a whole stuffed dodo bird. So remember as you think about your collection: Never throw anything away just because it's in bad condition. Sometimes it's the only example you will ever find.
If you have forgotten what the dodo looks like, check out the illustration above from the book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."