The Oxford University link above states that the dodo was extinct by 1680, a fact that is echoed in many other sources; however, scientists plotting the last known sightings of the bird on a graph suggest that the actual date is 10 years later than this estimate. While debated hotly by scientists, the dodo became extinct for three reasons. Your email address will not be published. However, it never really needed to fly! Mauritius, the largest of these islands, had no indigenous land mammals or amphibians which means the Dodo had no enemies. The isolation of an island didn’t help with protecting the future of the dodo bird. With every year that passes, science becomes more and more amazingly awesome and as a result, the idea of cloning a dodo, As an animal that was easier to hunt than potatoes, the dodo was cooked and eaten a lot. Nevertheless, there is some information about features of the bird. Its head and breast are blue-gray and the wings are rufous-colored. The species was soon cripplingly endangered. The first written mention was in 1598, when the Dutch arrived in Mauritius and was extinct less than a century later. Funnily enough, despite being one of the most famous extinct animals of all time, right up there with the wooly mammoth, no one actually knows exactly what the dodo looked like. Your email address will not be published. If there's one thing most people know about the dodo bird, it's that they were dumb. Welcome to Outward On, a site dedicated to preserving and exploring the planet. Sources from Oxford University of Natural History say their meat wasn’t “. The dodo, or Raphus cucullatus if you want to get fancy, is an extinct species of flightless bird that was native to the tiny island nation of Mauritius before it sadly died out. Their purpose goes beyond reproducing and maintaining a species, it affects the future of all the other species in its ecosystem. By the 1660s, Cheke said, dodos had already gone extinct on the main island of Mauritius, and the name "dodo" had been transferred to a similar flightless species now known as a red rail. Why did dodo birds go extinct? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By Virginia Morell Mar. Second nobody really cares today except for a few people who want to demonize the Dutch. It is noted that after sailors landed and settled on the island in 1598,  the dodo’s population rapidly declined and other sources confirm that the dodo was indeed hunted by sailors looking for an easy snack, since the dodo’s ungainly gait and lack of a third axis of movement made it relatively easy to catch. They were hunted and killed by many animals, including humans, until they were finally extinct. In reconstructions of recently found bones, it would appear that the dodo was actually a lot sleeker and agile than the artists of the past gave it credit for. Gerald Durrell said that the dodo was the first species whose extinction was publicised ie it was the first time people realised that it was possible for a species to just disappear from the face of the earth. Why did the dodo become extinct? The fate of the poor dodo bird is slightly misrepresented by history. Why did the Dodo go extinct? Go figure,ignorant stupid sub-humans killing a bird that the rest of us will never get the chance to enjoy in it’s own habitat ! A once budding ecosystem with around fifty different species inhabiting its land now only has half as many and has fallen a true victim to extinction. Why did the Dodo go extinct. The other two words translate to “sluggard” and “fool” in their respective languages, but since sailors aren’t exactly known for the eloquence, “knot-arse” seems as likely as anything. The Europeans were exploring the island in hopes of turning it into an isolated prison. It takes a lot of energy to maintain powered flight, which is why nature favors this adaptation only when it's absolutely necessary. Some Dutch sketches suggest that it was around three feet tall and very heavy, too heavy to fly. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird. Some Dutch sketches suggest that it was around three feet tall and very heavy, too heavy to fly. The other animals on the island were not predatory so the dodo bird never developed a way to defend itself and instead would be very friendly with the colonizers, rather than skeptical. Required fields are marked *. Best Answers. However, even its taste is something people couldn’t agree on. 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The dodo bird was discovered in 1591 in Mauritius by Portuguese sailors. This notorious species has a story of its own that exemplifies both the dangers of colonization and human carelessness with nature. Contrary to popular narratives that these sailors hunted and ate the birds into extinction, it is unlikely that it was the people themselves that caused the decline, but the animals they brought with them. Within a century, the last dodo bird died and marked its extinction. It was thought to become extinct as early as in the late 17 th century. However, this view may have been distorted because most descriptions of the birds were from those overfed specimens kept in captivity or stuffed specimens in museums. These domestic creatures also devoured the dodo eggs and young. In a timespan of only around 100 years, the dodo bird ceased to exist in the wild. The dodo is frequently cited as one of the most well-known examples of human-induced extinction and also serves as a symbol of obsolescence with respect to human technological progress. It's the only one we have, so let's make the most of it. The little dodo is 12 inches in length. Because it went extinct so long ago, there are few records of what it actually looked like. Oddly enough, the cliched image of an overweight dodo stems all the way back to when they were first spotted, though images of thinner dodos are known to exist (including ones sketched by Jacob Van Neck who was one of the first to sketch them); but these are vastly outnumbered by ones of dodos looking like they lived on a diet of nothing but sticks of butter mixed with bacon grease. He also pointed out that there were enough individuals in private collections to have rescued it by captive breeding. This is just one of many facts about the dodo that still doesn’t have a clear answer. However, the commonly accepted image of the dodo, one of an overweight, dumpling of a bird, is likely false. The monkeys, dogs, and other creatures that came on the ships would steal eggs from the dodo bird, making it nearly impossible for them to reproduce and grow as a species. The Dodo is the undoubted ‘celebrity’ among extinct species with its depiction in books, cartoons and the well-used expression ‘Dead as a Dodo’. It went extinct by 1693, less than 100 years after the Dutch discovered Mauritius in 1598. the dodo went extinct because they lived on a island with no praetors and the people came by the island and were very hungry so they killed the dodos for food so much that they all died off. Less well known about the Dodo is that it heads up a group of single island flightless birds that became extinct either at the hands of man, or by the introduction of predators that came along with the arrival of people to their islands. It became extinct in the 17th century because of human activities. Great thanks to those selfish pigs I’ll never get to eat one for myself. It is probably the fact that most people just do not care about anything but themselves. Several theories attempt to explain exactly how the dodo bird went extinct and a number of events have been attributed to its unfortunate and rapid demise. The three main candidates are either,  the Dutch word “dodoor“, the Portugese word, “duodo“, or our personal favourite, the Dutch word, “dodaars” which roughly translates as “knot-arse“. There is a common perception that the dodo became extinct because they lacked intelligence and were fat and clumsy. When people first saw the bird on the island of Mauritius, off the coast of Africa, they thought its friendly approach meant the bird was dumb. 🙂. It seems “common knowledge” that all dodos were hunted down by European … They found the birds easy to catch as they were unafraid of their two-legged visi­tors. What really happened to the mysterious Dodo bird? Marcus Wade loves to surf the Internet, drink coffee and travel. On the other hand, as noted in the book, Lost Land of the Dodo: The Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues, one of the foremost texts on the bird and its demise, it states that the last, accepted confirmed sighting of a live dodo fell many years before this in 1662. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. On the island of Mauritius, approximately 370 miles west of Rodrigues, the flightless bird Raphus cucullatus, popularly known as “Dodo” went extinct between the year 1600 to 1800. Debated hotly by biologists, the dodo went extinct at the end of the seventeenth century for three possible reasons, or some combination of them. Little is known about the life of the dodo, despite the notoriety that comes with being one of the world's most famous extinct species in history. The dodo bird became extinct simply because it could not fly and escape from its enemies. In Portuguese, Dodo connotes stupidity and the dodo bird became a food source for not only the humans that arrived, but their animals too. There were limited species available for the dodo bird to mate with so even a hybrid of a dodo bird and something else was not possible. In keeping with this theme of no one being exactly sure about anything to do with the dodo, even the word “dodo” itself has contestation to its routes. Due to their inability to fly and lack of previous exposure to predators dodos were at risk as soon as Dutch sailors landed on their island in 1598. The arrival of humans to Mauritius did not only bring the threat of direct hunting: they also brought pigs, rats, dogs and other animalswhich became invasive species and harmed the endemic animals and plants, eventually contributing to the extinction of the dodo. People, and the animals that accompanied them, brought about the rapid extinction of the dodo. The very earliest depictions of dodos, for example, the ones in the journals of Jacob van Neck show the dodo as a much thinner, athletic creature than later drawings and paintings would suggest. It's commonly believed that the dodo went extinct because Dutch sailors ate the beast to extinction after finding that the bird was incredibly easy to catch due to the fact it had no fear of humans, (why it didn't fear the creature many times its size is a mystery for another day). Th unique and naive nature of the dodo bird is where its name comes from. When sailors would land they could easily walk up on the bird and club it to death. Your ancestors came here much much later. It was infact the size of which it is in the picture. The dodo bird is just one of the bird species driven to extinction on Mauritius. The dodo bird was discovered in 1591 in Mauritius by Portuguese sailors. The Oxford University link above states that the dodo was extinct by 1680, a fact that is echoed in many other sources; however, scientists plotting the last known sightings of the bird on a graph suggest that … Hating the Dutch for something they did 300+ years ago will not change a thing. Few took particular notice of the extinct bird. The way I see it is this, any animal that’s known to be hunted to extinction by humans should be brought back to life (at least one’s we have DNA records of, of course). First, before humans arrived on Mauritius – an island in the Indian Ocean where the dodos had evolved – they had no natural predators and as such were easy to hunt by travellers looking for a food supply. As noted in this article by the BBC, complete skeletons for the animal are incredibly rare, one of the last was destroyed in a fire in 1755; hell, even the model in the natural history museum is a composite of various specimens and they’re the people literally tasked with documenting and storing animal remains. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. The thing is, Portuguese sailors are also said to have seen the bird, decades before this in 1507. The thing is to learn from past mistakes which we as humans do not learn well. 🙁. After the dodo bird's pigeon ancestors landed on their island paradise, they gradually lost their ability to fly, at the same time evolving to turkey-like sizes. Pigs, dogs and rats are all animals said to have developed a taste for dodo eggs; this introduction of such animals into a foreign ecosystem, combined with humans hunting and eating them, saw the delicate balance the dodo had enjoyed for so long destroyed. This is, for the for the most part, pretty accurate. Almost everyone knows what the bird is, but do you really know why it went extinct? The Effect of Hurricane Harvey on Wildlife, Planet roundup: Death of the environment, new dinosaurs and more. Many others were lost in the 19th century when the dense Mauritian forests were converted into tea and sugar plantations. the dodo went extinct because they lived on a island with no praetors and the people came by the island and were very hungry so they killed the dodos for food so much that they all died off. The little dodo is a strange and rare bird. We’re literally doing this to every animal species to this day. Meaning there’s a 30 year gap of sweet dodo limbo, in which we’re not sure what the dodos did during this time, but we hope they enjoyed it. The fate of the dodo bird should be a cautionary tale that if we do not take initiative to protect endangered species, they will no longer be with us. 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