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Dodo: Extinction of a Helpless Bird

Seraphin Mondol is a banker. He has a strong interest in lost species, incidents, cities, etc.

Introduction:

The Dodo is the name of a flightless bird that became extinct in the 16 century. They lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian ocean. The Dodo is one of the most mysterious and fascinating representations of birds still alive on the earth. the Mauritian Dodo was able to survive on this earth until it collied with humans. The last representatives of this unique and almost unseen bird died three centuries ago. But fortunately, a lot of interesting information about its life still survives today through some of the important writings about it written by the explorers who stepped on Mauritius.

Rodrigues Solitaire, another extinct species, was the closest relative of Dodo which was found on the island of Rodrigues, east of Madagascar in the Indian ocean.

Again Nicobar Pigeon which is found in Nicobar and nearby islands is the closest relative of Dodo among the currently living species.

The world first came to know about Dodo, when the Dutch explorer Admiral Wiebrand Van Warwijk's led an expedition to Mauritius in 1598. He named it 'Waglovogen' meaning an ungodly bird because it was disgusting to taste.

Imaginary Picture of Dodo:

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Imaginary picture of Rodrigues Solitaire

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Photo of Nicobar Pigeon:

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Living Place:

The Dodo lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian ocean 350 years ago.

The location of Mauritius in the Indian ocean (round marked):

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Map of the island of Mauritius and Rodrigues:

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Special features, size and weight:

The Dodo had naked areas around the skin of the eyes, reaching the base of the chin. Its legs were in a specific structure. There was a lacking of vomer bone in the skull. There was an enlarged portion in the esophagus. It had a strong, beautiful beak, yellow-green color. The head was small in size, had a small, slightly curved neck. It has been described that it had brown and grey plumage, yellow feet, a tuft of tail feathers.

The Admiral said that the black color bird looked like a dove and pigeon, though there were many differences in shape and weight. A Dodo was three and a half feet in length and weighed about 20 kg. Subfossil shows that the Dodo was 1 meter tall and might have weighed 10.6 to 17.5 kg. Its estimated life span was 10 years.

The Dodo became a permanent resident in that region because it found safe, adequate living and breeding conditions there. Evolving over hundreds of years it changed gradually, grew overweight, and forgot how to fly.

It is thought that the ancestor of the Dodo had the ability to fly to escape the enemy. Later It no longer needed to fly because it was free from the enemy or because of its ability to deal with the enemy on the ground.




A comparative picture of Dodo's size:

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Another comparative picture of Dodo's size:

dodo-a-lost-bird
dodo-a-lost-bird

Nature and food:

It could neither fly nor feared people at all. It couldn't fly because of having small and unorganized wings. But it could swim.

The Dodo was a quiet bird. It mainly took plants as its food. The island then was so rich in plants that it did not need to search for food from other palces.

Studies on Dodo have shown that it became adult size very quickly after hatching. Scientists said that it hatched in August. The trees of Mauritius were full of different fruits during August. The young Dodo used to eat those fruits as a voracious eater and grew older fast. Seeing that the explorers called it a gluttonous bird.

Does the Dodo exist now a days?

The Dodo doesn't exist now. The entire species of the Dodo were fully wiped out from this earth.

in 1688, Isaac Lamotias, a dutch hunter, claimed that he had seen the bird on that coast. But the details didn't match with the Dodo. Isaac's discovery had a new red tail which the Dodo had not. In Dutch, the newly discovered bird was named 'Dodears'.

Why and how did it become extinct?

Researchers say that the Dodo became extinct less than 100 years after humans arrived on the island of Mauritius 350 years ago. Humans were the main cause of extinction.

The Dodo was a very stupid bird. It didn't become afraid at all when they saw people. It would come to people in crowds out of curiosity. Then it became easy prey for human beings.

Though the bird was disgusting to eat, the explorers would begin to eat it finding no other alternative food. The bird would make its nest on the ground and lay eggs there. As result, the explorers could easily steal its egg.

Besides these other animals such as dogs, pigs, cats, etc that were brought by the sailors with them used to eat up the Dodo's egg. Again the explorers used to whimsically kill the bird when it came nearer.

The imaginary picture of killing Dodo by human beings.

dodo-a-lost-bird
dodo-a-lost-bird

Where do we find the Dodo now a days?

Although the Dodo was lost, Mauritius has not forgotten it. The Dodo is given the honour of the national bird of Mauritius. The government of Mauritius has taken various steps to remind the Dodo. As a result, the picture of the Dodo is seen on the post stamps, calendars, money notes etc. the government also patronize the studies on the Dodo.

The Dodo has extinct from this earth forever. The skeletons of the Dodo have been carefully preserved in the museums in Mauritius. Its bones have also been preserved in many museums in Europe. Scientists have been conducting various studies on the Dodo. A lot of unknown information is known by observing its bones. Scientists also hope that the Dodo will return to the earth from the gene of this bird.

The replica of the egg of the Dodo.

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Skeletons & models of the Dodo preserved in the museum.

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The Dodo on Mauritius Rupee.

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The Dodo's head, leg and bones preserved in the museum.

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Sculpture of the Dodo.

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dodo-a-lost-bird
dodo-a-lost-bird
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The last.

All of us in this world should show compassion for the beasts and the birds so that they do not become extinct forever.

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