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FILE- In this Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 file photo, a Dodo skeleton, Raphus cucullatus, from Mauritius is displayed at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, southern England. Summers Place Auctions has sold a composite dodo skeleton to a private collector for £346,300 pounds ($430,000), including buyer’s premium on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

An auction house in England sold a Dodo skeleton for $416,300

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The very first, nearly-complete dodo skeleton sold to a private collector for $416,300 Tuesday. 

The bird skeleton was reconstructed by a man who started buying homes from auctions in the 1970s, according to The Guardian

A spokeswoman for Summers Place Auctions told The Guardian that the collector decided to part ways with the "amazingly rare" piece. 

“There are only about 12 similarly complete skeletons in existence and they are all in museums around the world.”
Summers Place Auctions told The Guardian

The auction house noted that only 12 nearly-complete dodo skeletons exist and all of those are in museums. 

Dodo birds became well-known because of their role in Lewis Carroll's book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

Dodos were hunted to extinction about 70 years after they were discovered on the island of Mauritius in 1598, according to The Guardian. 

The country's government has banned the export of dodo bones, so auctioneers say it is unlikely a nearly-complete skeleton like this one will show up again anytime soon. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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