Dodo

dodoThe dodo bird was first seen by the Portuguese (in 1505), inhabiting the islands of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The sailors killed large number of these birds considering them as a source of fresh meat; although the taste as described in some places is too bad and the meat was hard enough. It was the flightless bird, now extinct from the world (since 1750s-70s). The flightlessness was acquired through a long course of time. It lived in the dense forests with other birds and no mammals. The bird was told to be the relative of dove and penguin. Nesting on the ground, the bird ate only fruits that had fallen from the trees.

According to the scientists, the dodo was about 3.3 feet tall and 20 kilograms in weight. The more artistic definition of the bird may be a brownish or dirty green feather appearance, 9 inch long bill with a hooked point, small wings, and large body appearance, white feathers attached with the tail and stout yellow legs like a pigeon. The Europeans described dodo as a fat and lazy bird, but scientists today say that the Dutch and European showed the other part; indeed some Indian artists had shown in the past that they were slimmer and brownish in color. Some contemporary source and writers say that these birds used gizzard stone.
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The simple friendly nature of the bird is considered as the biggest cause behind its extinction. Again the flightlessness also plays a role by making it an easy prey for human and other carnivores. With the arrival of humans on the islands of Mauritius, along with them pets like dogs, rats, cats and macaques also invaded the island. The destroyed the dodo eggs all over the island, making the extinction a bit faster. In the controversy of actual extinction date of dodo, Roberts & Solow state that “the extinction of the Dodo is commonly dated to the last confirmed sighting in 1662, reported by Volkert Evertsz” (Evertszoon). There are some phrases in literature related to dodo, like “dead as dodo” which means undoubtedly dead, and “to go to the way of dodo” means completely extinct.



Posted by on Sep.17, 2011, under Info

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