Wild Fact #686 – Gone But Not Forgotten – Dodo Bird

Photo from Wikicommons

Well here it is! Not only is it the last Flightless Bird Fact of the week but it is also the much anticipated Dodo Bird Wild Fact.  I promised you folks that I would write about this bird even though they are extinct.  I figured today would be a good day for the Dodo since they are a Flightless Bird and I like to write my facts for the special occasions.  Today just happens to be my brothers birthday and I thought the Dodo Bird would be fitting.  You know, since they are old and extinct.  Happy Birthday, Bro!

Even though the Dodo Bird has been extinct for over 300 years they are still one of the most popular bird species out there.  Heck, they even have their own expression named after them, “Dead as a Dodo”.  Not exactly the saying I would want to have named after me but at least they have one.  It is believed that the Dodo was related to modern-day pigeons and doves.  They were about a meter (3.3 feet) tall and weighed about 20 kg (44 lbs).  Obviously since they couldn’t fly they nested on the ground and would pluck the fruit from low lying bushes.  It sounds like they had a pretty good life so what went wrong?

Dodo Skeleton - Photo by Heinz-Josef Lücking (Wikicommons)

Well I will give you three guesses to the cause of their extinction and the first two don’t count.  Unfortunately, humans played a huge role in the demise of this awesome bird.  You see the Dodo grew up on the island of Mauritus (east of Madagascar) where it had no predators.  So when humans came over with their dogs, cats, pigs, rats and Crab-eating Macaques (Hey! That rhymes) the Dodo was fearless towards these new island inhabitants.  Naturally this fearless behaviour and their inability to fly lead to major population declines.  Apparently it was the pigs and Crab-eating Macaques (seriously, who brings monkey’s with them when they travel?) that did the most damage.  They raided their nests and destroyed the future.  To make matters worst Scientists have discovered mass mortality at the hands of flash floods.  This would have just compounded the problem.   Poor little guys didn’t stand a chance.

Dodo Bird Fast Fact – The common view of the Dodo Bird being a fat and clumsy animal has been challenged by researchers.  It is believed that the old drawings of Dodo Birds were that of captive, over-fed birds.  As well it is probable that the Dodo Bird fattened themselves up during the wet season in order to survive through the harsh dry season when food was limited.

So the Birthday Boy gets the Dodo Bird because even when he is old and extinct his memory will live on forever in the history books.  I hope all of you enjoyed the Flightless Bird Theme and especially the fact on the Dodo Bird.  I still love this bird for some reason.  Have a great weekend everyone!

17th Century Drawing of the Dodo Bird (Photo from Wikicommons)

8 Responses

  1. Old & Extinct 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago
  2. DutchDodoman 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago
  3. DutchDodoman 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago
  4. DutchDodoman 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago

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