A brief history of the dodo

The Dodo and other birds

A brief history of the bird dodoThe Dodo were huge birds of unknown species that existed only on the island of Mauritius which had no human habitation prior to 1598. Due to its short wings and bulky body the dodo could not fly or flee in the face of danger.

Advertisements


For many years people have been using the above description when referring to the Dodo. However, new research carried out in the United Kingdom has revealed two important things we did not know before about this extinct bird.

Firstly, the Dodo came from a distant family of Asian pigeons. Secondly, they were not so huge and bulky in their natural habitat as was commonly thought of. Details about the UK research can be found at the following site:

Those birds had no experience of any types of predators before the arrival of settlers in the island. They were passive creatures even when approached by human visitors for the first time. So it was with lack of fears and child-like innocence that those birds greeted the first settlers, the Dutch, in 1598.

The story of the Dodo is indeed a tragic one. Firstly, human visitors, mainly the Dutch, used to kill them for food. Those that survived became prey to animals such as pigs, rats and monkeys that had been introduced into the island by sailors. By the year 1681 the last Dodo had died. The manner in which the Dodo were obliterated from the surface of the earth has left a lasting impact on the natural history of our global eco-system: in fact a lesson in extinction to humanity. So much so, that the English expression 'As dead as the Dodo' had to be coined to emphasize the concept of total annihilation or non-existence (by death) of something, or someone, or some idea, either in the literal or abstract sense.

Also read: Dead as a duodo - Mauritius experience

You may also be interested in . . .

History of Mauritius

Prior to 1598 there was no human habitation on the island of Mauritius. At that time it was only an indigenous habitat with dense forests, peaks and mountains, streams and rivers, and some species of

Nature History Museum and Mauritius Institute

Most tourists visit the Museum and Institute, on Chausee St, to see the stuffed replica of the dodo, the abnormal member of a group of pigeons, which become extinct. Between 1981 and 1989, the dodo

Endangered Species

The best known representative of Mauritius birdlife was the dodo - a large, plump, flightless dove which found its docility rewarded with extinction in the late 17th century. Although the dodo has

Kinds of Birds

The pink pigeon was once found all over Mauritius but now its habitat is restricted to the wet upland forests of the southwest. Feral cats, monkeys and rats brought about the demise of this tame and

Clever Dodo

Mauritius question and answer website where you can get help to find the information you're looking for and share your knowledge.

Dead as a duodo

. . . and then God made man, but surely not exactly in his image. For when man entered the garden, he tore it limb from limb. Witness the Eden that was Mauritius. If you thought Mauritius was only

The Dutch Period

In 1598 the Dutch came into the scene when Vice Admiral Vybrant Van Warwick claimed the island for the Netherlands and named it Mauritius in honour of his ruler, Prince Maurice of Nassau (Pictured on