Extinction of the Dodo Bird

The dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus) was a large flightless bird from Mauritius (a small isolated island just east of Madagascar). It averaged at around 3 feet tall and 22-40 lbs. The dodo bird was last seen in 1662.

Prior to the introduction of non-native species by humans, dodos had no natural predators on Mauritius, and therefore evolved to become large-bodied, relatively latent in their mobility, and pretty much fearless of larger animals. Humans arrived on Mauritius in 1598. The introduction of the European’s cats, rats, pigs, dogs, etc. quickly led to not only their demise, but also the destruction of the dodos’ nests, and the killing of their young and eggs. One of the first explorers of Mauritius also described the dodo bird as being extremely delicious, and large enough to feed two people.

From human arrival in 1598, it only took 60 years to demolish the dodo species. Researchers are now looking into possibly using cloning as a method of bringing the dodo back to life, which may cure the long-lived curiosity everyone has on what the dodo ate (provided that feeding behaviour is an instinctual trait, not a learned trait), how it would mate, and what it really looked like Via Facebook.

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