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Arriving at Mauritius on 29 April 1835, Darwin was impressed by the civilised prosperity of the French colony which had come under British rule. He toured the island, examining its volcanic mountains and fringing coral reefs. The Surveyor-general Captain Lloyd took him on the only elephant on the island to see an elevated coral plain.

Mauritius was the only known habitat of the extinct Dodo bird. By the tume Charles Darwin vistied the island, the dodo''s were already extinct since a century.

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