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why did the dodo bird go extinct

This is just one of many facts about the dodo that still doesn’t have a clear answer. We’re literally doing this to every animal species to this day. The now-extinct Dodo wasnt actually a stupid bird. However, in this paper released by the Oxford University of Natural History, it’s the animals the sailors brought with them that are named as one of the key reasons our hapless feathery friend saw his demise. Despite this, the dodo is now universally known for being an overweight turd of a bird. The dodo bird was discovered in 1591 in Mauritius by Portuguese sailors. The dodo bird was discovered in 1591 in Mauritius by Portuguese sailors. You can only be accountable for your actions in life. The Europeans were exploring the island in hopes of turning it into an isolated prison. I agree with you. When did the dodo go extinct? The dodo was a flightless bird native to the isle of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. After all, we’re the ones that made them extinct in the first place. Considering more circumstantial evidence such as travellers' reports and the lack of good reports after 1689 it is likely that the dodo became extinct before 1700; the last Dodo died little more than a century after the species' discovery in 1581. The Effect of Hurricane Harvey on Wildlife, Planet roundup: Death of the environment, new dinosaurs and more. But because the dodos had no praetors they were not scared of the people. In a timespan of only around 100 years, the dodo bird ceased to exist in the wild. Few took particular notice of the extinct bird. 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. 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. Màns ignobly behavior just continues to seek out and destroy our wildlife. Its head and breast are blue-gray and the wings are rufous-colored. The dodo was extinct by 1681, the Réunion solitaire by 1746, and the Rodrigues solitaire by about 1790. 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. Sources from Oxford University of Natural History say their meat wasn’t “. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.The dodo's closest genetic relative was the also-extinct Rodrigues solitaire, the two forming the subfamily Raphinae of the family of pigeons and doves.The closest living relative of the dodo is the Nicobar pigeon. 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. Why did the dodo become extinct? It's the only one we have, so let's make the most of it. Almost everyone knows what the bird is, but do you really know why it went extinct? First, before the arrival of humans on Mauritius—an island where the dodos had lived and evolved for centuries—the species had no natural predators. The Dodo bird lived on the Mascarene Islands which are about 550 miles east of Madagascar until they got extinct in the late 17th century. 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. 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. Your ancestors came here much much later. Your email address will not be published. The fate of the poor dodo bird is slightly misrepresented by history. A suggested reason for this disparity is seasonal fat changes, though like with everything else to do with the dodo, no one is exactly sure if this is the case. 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. Best Answers. Nevertheless, there is some information about features of the bird. He also pointed out that there were enough individuals in private collections to have rescued it by captive breeding. This notorious species has a story of its own that exemplifies both the dangers of colonization and human carelessness with nature. 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. Th unique and naive nature of the dodo bird is where its name comes from. The tree has not germinated since the 1600s and only thirteen trees remain. Great thanks to those selfish pigs I’ll never get to eat one for myself. Dodo birds became extinct because they were flightless and couldn't move very quick. Of the 45 bird species originally found on Mauritius, only 21 have managed to survive. Your email address will not be published. It seems “common knowledge” that all dodos were hunted down by European … The first written mention was in 1598, when the Dutch arrived in Mauritius and was extinct less than a century later. Required fields are marked *. The isolation of an island didn’t help with protecting the future of the dodo bird. And the answer is, well, complicated. Its size and lack of flight made it a sitting duck (pardon the pun). The species was soon cripplingly endangered. But enough of the Discovery Channel stuff, you’re reading this to find out how this sucker went extinct. They had no natural enemies and so had no natural defenses when sailors settled on the island. People, and the animals that accompanied them, brought about the rapid extinction of the dodo. The Dutch were here earlier. Some Dutch sketches suggest that it was around three feet tall and very heavy, too heavy to fly. While debated hotly by scientists, the dodo became extinct for three reasons. Why did dodo birds go extinct? However, it never really needed to fly! 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. This was the dodo’s home and the two species formed a symbiotic relationship where they depended on each other to survive. The dodo was a flightless bird found on the island of Mauritius. Why did dodo birds go extinct? 🙂. There is a common perception that the dodo became extinct because they lacked intelligence and were fat and clumsy. They found the birds easy to catch as they were unafraid of their two-legged visi­tors. 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. What really happened to the mysterious Dodo bird? 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. Why did the dodo bird go extinct? 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. The exact date we humans came into contact with the dodo is up for debate, Dutch sailors traveling with Jacob van Neck (one of the first people to ever describe the dodo) are said to have been the first humans to have seen the bird in 1598. Mauritius, the largest of these islands, had no indigenous land mammals or amphibians which means the Dodo had no enemies. However, even its taste is something people couldn’t agree on. Below are a few of the factors that contributed to … When sailors would land they could easily walk up on the bird and club it to death. These domestic creatures also devoured the dodo eggs and young. Second nobody really cares today except for a few people who want to demonize the Dutch. The dodo bird became extinct simply because it could not fly and escape from its enemies. But the sailors themselves did not make much of a contribution to the dodo… These animals quickly invaded the woods, trampling the nests and frightening the birds. THE island of Mauritius was once a haven for the endemic dodo birds (Raphus cucullatus). 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. 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Hating the Dutch for something they did 300+ years ago will not change a thing. 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. Humans will never stop this behaviour as we’re all selfish and greedy (yes, ALL of us). Europe's 17th-Century scientists did not realise quite how valuable their dodo specimens were . 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. He loves meeting new people and having interesting conversations about art, politics and society. By Virginia Morell Mar. Along with the dodo bird, the Calvaria tree also went extinct. 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. The Europeans were exploring the island in hopes of turning it into an isolated prison. Your email address will not be published. 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). But because the dodos had no praetors they were not scared of the people. This was not your country then. All humans back then have done rotten things to creatures on this planet and even to other humans beyond belief. Scientists believe that the present day Nicobar pigeon is the closest cousin of dodo bird. 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 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 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. Some Dutch sketches suggest that it was around three feet tall and very heavy, too heavy to fly. Until recently, the last confirmed dodo sighting on its home island of Mauritius was made in 1662, but a 2003 estimate by David Roberts and Andrew Solow placed the extinction of the bird around 1690. 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. The dodo bird is just one of the bird species driven to extinction on Mauritius. It went extinct by 1693, less than 100 years after the Dutch discovered Mauritius in 1598. Debated hotly by biologists, the dodo went extinct at the end of the seventeenth century for three possible reasons, or some combination of them. It is probably the fact that most people just do not care about anything but themselves. In all likelihood, this popular notion of how the dodo looked is probably completely wrong. 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. The interference of the foreign animals coupled with the continued overuse of the birds for food led to its total extinction by 1681." Why did the Dodo go extinct? It was thought to become extinct as early as in the late 17 th century. And as a result, it faded from existence. It’s not necessarily a mystery why they were not afraid of humans, they never had any natural predators, so when humans came along they were curios as to what the flip we were, and weren’t scared. 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. 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’. Would a meat tax help curb climate destruction? Dodo Bird Facts Summary Dodo birds were flightless birds that were native to the island of Mauritius. For example, the date the bird officially went extinct is as muddled as the date it was first discovered. In fact, even finding photos of it is quite a challenge since only a few quality photos exist. 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. WHY DID THE DODO GO EXTINCT? It became extinct in the 17th century because of human activities. In Portuguese, Dodo connotes stupidity and the dodo bird became a food source for not only the humans that arrived, but their animals too. 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. Within a century, the last dodo bird died and marked its extinction. Marcus Wade loves to surf the Internet, drink coffee and travel. The reason this animal died out is because european sailers came to their island and the rats in the ships got out and ate their eggs because the dodo layed their eggs on the ground. Many others were lost in the 19th century when the dense Mauritian forests were converted into tea and sugar plantations. This example of extinction happened relatively early on and thus became the poster child of endangered species. 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). 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. 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). Required fields are marked *. 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The thing is, Portuguese sailors are also said to have seen the bird, decades before this in 1507. However, the commonly accepted image of the dodo, one of an overweight, dumpling of a bird, is likely false. Because it went extinct so long ago, there are few records of what it actually looked like. Many other species on Mauritius suffered through the same fate. Their purpose goes beyond reproducing and maintaining a species, it affects the future of all the other species in its ecosystem. Virtually all of these images can be traced back to a single set of paintings by the artist, Savery’s painting was so intrinsic the the understanding of what the dodo looked like that the superintendent of the Natural History Museum, Professor Richard Owen used one of his. This is, for the for the most part, pretty accurate. First the persons involved have long been dead. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird. Pun ) the Discovery Channel stuff, you ’ re all selfish greedy. 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