1.Great tortoises that feed on crabs.
2.This bird is called 'Walgvogel' [Dodo] by the Dutch. It is the size of a swan with a thick head, round body, the wings with only a few feathers and the tail, a curly tuft. When cooked it made a poor meal.
3.A palm tree with leaves so large a person can shelter from the rain under one leaf. From this a wine, like Spanish wine, is made. It is known as palm-wine and it becomes sour if left for more than two days.
4. This is a black-breasted bird called 'Rabos Forcados' [Frigate-bird] with a scissor-like tail. They catch flying-fish but, when they drop one, the others snatch it out of the air.
5.An Indian crow, twice the size of a parrot and of two or three colours.
6.This is a tree which has patterns resembling the shields of Amsterdam and Zeeland.
7.This is a palm-tree of which certain parts are used against scurvy.
8. This is a bat with a head like a small monkey. While resting, it hangs on trees in great numbers.
9.A workman or forger.
10. Huts built of leaves and branches where the people spend the night.
11. Here the preacher gives his morning and afternoon sermons.
12. A large catch of fish – half-a-ton in one haul.
What the Dutch found on the Island of Mauritius
During their voyage to India in 1598, the Dutch landed on the island of Mauritius. There they discovered some giant tortoises. They were so large that two men could easily sit on a single shell, or else, when hollowed out ten people could sit inside and have a meal. They also found many tame parrots and pigeons, which could easily be knocked down and killed with clubs. There was also a very strange bird, known as a 'Walckvogel', one of which was sent to Holland. [This was probably the famous dodo!]

Guilielmi Pisonis medici Amstelaedamensis de Indiae Utriusque re naturali et medica Libri quatuordecim, Quorum contenta pagin

Copyright Dodohaus Berlin 2004