How many of you know about Dodo birds facts? Rare people know about this kind of bird facts. It is understandable because Dodo is one of the extinct birds in the world. This species originated in Mauritius Island. It could not fly and it was very easy to terminate by human beings. It was the main reason why it was already extinct in the 16th century.
Dodo Birds Facts; Why Are They Important to Know?
Everything about natural science is important. The same thing applies to the information that relates to this extinct bird. Important information that you can get from the kind of bird that you have never seen before are as follows:
The Origin of Dodo
This kind of bird was known as Raphus cucullatus. It belongs to the Raphidae family. The shape seems like a combination of goose and turkey. Dodo lived in Mauritius Island, in which there are several species. They were Pezophaps solitaria of Rodrigues and Raphus solitarius of Réunion.
It was Portuguese sailors who found some Dodo birds around the Mauritius Islands and some other islands in the Indian Ocean. The main exterminators of this bird were human beings.
Any sailor, from various countries, found out that Dodo was very easy to catch. Dodo could be caught easily. Regardless of its flightless ability, it was also easy to find on lands. The population declined significantly during the end of the 15th century. Those sailors brought over their own pets, like dogs and cats. It was also estimated that there were an increasing amount of rats in the area. Those animals use dodo for their prey, while they also ate the eggs. No wonder, Dodo’s natural habitat experienced huge damage.
Another reason why the population was declining rapidly was their isolation inhabitant. Their flightless characteristic didn’t allow them to spread to other islands. Experts estimated that the lifespan of Dodo was only 175 years.
Dodo fully lived in the land. It also built its nest on the land. No wonder, it was pretty easy to prey on this bird and its eggs. As a matter of fact, the origin of animals in Mauritius Island were not predators. They were only birds and herbivores mammals.
The Real Characteristics
It was estimated that Dodo weighed more than 20 kilograms. The head is rather big, with the plumage of grayish-blue. Wings are small, and the legs were yellow. Other species of Dodo had different versions in terms of color and physical appearances. The Réunion species were white, while the Rodrigues were brown, with taller performance.
The small wings weren’t the only cause of their inability to fly. All kinds of birds will be encouraged to fly naturally, whenever they were forced to do it. Dodo’s surroundings were ‘safe’, so they didn’t need to get into an adaptation for flight. The environment of Mauritian was free from all kinds of predators until human beings arrived on the island.
Dodo had the remains in several parts. At this moment, those remains were spread in several conservation places, like the British Museum, Oxford, Copenhagen, and other European museums. It is still uncertain whether biology scientists will reincarnate this bird again. Several studies have shown that the bird’s genetics allow the de-extinction process to take place. People might want to wait for Dodo’s version of ‘Jurassic Park’.
Due to their remains, experts tried to describe the overall performance of Dodo. There was no technology named camera during the 16th century, so it was somewhat complicated to figure out its original look. It wasn’t until 2007 when the full Dodo’s skeletons were fully gathered. This was why, people could picture this bird, through paintings, as well as fairy tales.
The famous painting of Dodo was made by Roelant Savery in 1626. We should be thankful that this painter could capture the look of Dodo! It was very interesting to know that Professor Richard Owen, the Natural History Museum’s superintendent was able to put Dodo’s skeletons into one figure. It was estimated that Dodo in the paintings was fatter than the original ones. But, who cares?
Anyway, the popularity of Dodo in fairy tales was unbeatable. This creature was seen in the classic Alice in the Wonderland by Lewis Carol. Dodo was described as a very kind and gentle animal.
Their Staple Food
Similar to other birds in the same family, Dodo also ate any kind of nuts and seeds. But, they also consumed fallen fruit and roots. It is astonishing to figure out that this animal ate stones, containing a high level of iron, for its better ability in digesting foods.
Used As Idiom
Non-native English speakers may wonder why there is an idiom ‘dead as a dodo’. The idiom is not showing a person who dies. But, it also symbolizes that ‘there is no solution’. The use of this idiom is also highly popular for several kinds of extinct animals, due to the environment. Dead As Dodo is an idiom to represent how Dodo could actually diminish easily, without any effort to revitalize this species.
Unknown Breed Process
While there were no scientists were in the 16th century in the isolated places along Mauritius Island, it was hard to notice how Dodo was breeding. Regardless of its fast extinction, the process of mating was still vague. Some observers were able to figure out that Dodo could only produce one egg. This reproduction was also caused by the less stress that Dodo underwent. It was also estimated that Dodo’s lifespan was approximately 20 years. Its extinction was figured out within nine decades after it was first seen on the Mauritius Island
Tragic Life of Dodo
Based on the Dodo bird facts, it was pretty tragic that this bird extinct much earlier than people might expect. It could be that Dodo was the only kind of animal, which could extinct easily, because of its inability to attack, or even to survive against human beings and their domesticated animals, which shouldn’t have been there to become ‘alien predators’.