Zoology The DODO Bird

Discussion in 'Zoology' started by mscbkc070904, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Because this bird is extinct there isnt much about the bird except what historical data that can be retrieved.

    Not many people have heard of the dodo bird because these beautiful creatures have been extinct ever since the 1700s. But dodos once lived in the tropical rainforest of the Mauritius, an island off the southeastern coast of Africa.

    When biologists discovered the skeleton of a dodo bird in the 1900’s, they realized that their idea of what the dodo to looked like had been wrong. They had thought the dodo a large creature. One reason was that dodos underwent a seasonal fat cycle to prepare against shortages of food. They filled up on ripe fruit from the local Calvaria tree as well as fish.

    But the dodo was actually thin, long- legged and only weighed 13-17 kilograms. It had a large, hooked beak and a bunch of white feathers that covered its back. Like turkeys, dodos were fast runners. But their small, weak wings were unusable, so the dodo was flightless bird.

    In 1598 AD, the Mauritius was discovered by Portuguese sailors who had been traveling on a tiny ship for months without any food. When they reached the Island, a dodo came up to them, wondering what they were. The sailors thought this wasn't very bright. They dubbed this bird "dodo," which comes from the Portuguese word “duodo,” meaning silly or stupid. Because the dodos were so easy to catch, the sailors ate them.

    Eventually overhunting, habitat destruction and introduction of predators drove the dodos to extinction. These threats, coupled with the fact that female dodos laid only a single egg during each nesting period, meant these birds were unable to repopulate their species.

    By 1681, the last dodo died, and the species became extinct. After hundreds of years, no one recalled what a dodo bird was, and it was regarded as a myth invented by imaginative sailors. It wasn't until the 1900’s when the bones were found that the dodo was believed to be real.
    Today, the dodo bird is a symbol of the harm humans can bring to other living things if we are irresponsible.

    Cool Fact: Dodo birds sometimes ate rocks and iron to help their digestion. Their large beaks enabled them to bite things that were hard. Their beak was their only defense against predators.