Today is the 180th birthday of one Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. Did you know he studied and taught at Oxford? Well, he spent so much time visiting the Museum of Natural History there that one of their objects may have influenced a character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Even though many believe Dodo is a caricature of the author, who used to stutter his name as “Do-do-dodgson”, the Oxford Museum may have played a part as well. Today the bird’s head and foot (along with chicken feathers, wire-mesh and stuffing) is on display as the most complete remain of a single dodo anywhere in the world. Because let’s not forget, folks…this guy is extinct. Many museums have Dodo skeletons, but they are usually comprised of a bunch of birds. Kind of like how Americans eat their hamburgers…not in the hundreds, but still you get the picture. Oxford also displays a 1651 painting of a Dodo, which was another influence on Carroll’s work. During his many visits to the museum he incorporated the creatures from the displays into the tales he told his young friends, including one Alice Liddell. Probably the only example of a taxidermied animal display resulting in a famous piece of literature.