Birds Species

When did dodo birds go extinct? A complete Guidance

When did dodo birds go extinct

When did dodo birds go extinct? The dodo bird became extinct due to several factors. Since the dodo had no natural predators on the island of Mauritius, the bird was easy prey for humans arriving on the island. Further, humans introduced invasive species that competed with the dodo for food. Dodos also lose their habitat due to human settlements.

You may have heard about the dodo bird in your biology class – a fat, colorless bird that died at the hands of ruthless sailors. Since these harmless birds became extinct a few centuries ago, we now only have historical descriptions, illustrations, and a few skeletal specimens preserved in museums. In this article, we will learn what dodos were, what they looked like, where they lived, and why they became extinct!

When did dodo birds go extinct? A complete Guidance

Dodos (Raphus cucullatus)

The dodo (scientific name: Raphus Cucullatus) was a flying bird that lived on the tranquil island of Mauritius. The origin of the name “Dodo” is debatable. Some believe it comes from the Dutch “dodgers”, meaning solid tail, while others claim it derives from the Portuguese “doido”, meaning “like a fool”.

What did the dodo eat?

The dodo was endemic and endemic to the island of Mauritius. Based on the island’s habitat and ecosystem, their bodies were perfectly suited to survive there. Their diet depended on the tumbleweed tree, locally known as the dodo tree. Biologists believe that the dodo feeds on the tumbling tree as well as nuts, fruits, roots, and small insects.

Fortunately, the dodo had no natural predators. Some biologists believe that they lost the ability to fly due to the absence of such predators. Adapting to life in flight triggered a series of physical changes—their wings became shorter and their tails became thicker. Moreover, the dodo laid its eggs directly on the ground, which later became a threat to unborn babies when humans and their pets arrived on the island.

What did the dodo look like?

Evolutionary biologists claim that pigeons and doves are close relatives of the dodo, but the size and weight of the dodo differ from these other species. Dodos were 3 feet long and weighed 15 to 20 kg. Many historical illustrations of the dodo show them as brownish-gray feathers, but there is no consensus among scientists on the actual color of the feathers. Dodos also had a long beak—about 8 inches long—with a hook-like tip that suited their feeding style. Some experts also believe that their beaks were strong enough to break open coconuts.

Although the dodo is often described as fat and lazy, with a large appetite, it is possible that this image was distorted by an unfair view of explorers. Historically, dodos were used to the presence of humans, which is probably why they were gentle and docile when they encountered humans to explore new habitats. Some experts also speculate that sailors and explorers captured the poor creatures and overfed them, making them fatter and slower than before. If this is true, then the typical image of the dodo we have is probably wrong.

How were dodo birds discovered?

Many historical texts state that Arab explorers visited the island of Mauritius before the 16th century but did not note the dodo. The first documented account of the dodo was made in 1601 by sailors of the Dutch East India Company. The first example of the dodo bird came a few years later.

When did dodo birds go extinct? The dodo’s demise likely occurred sometime in the late 17th century, following the discovery and documentation of the species. The combination of habitat loss, overhunting, and the introduction of invasive species took its toll on the bird’s population, leading to its extinction.

How and When did dodo birds go extinct?

Hotly debated by biologists, the dodo became extinct in the late seventeenth century for three possible reasons, or some combination of them.

Invasion of invasive species

Second – Western explorers and sailors didn’t just come to the island of Mauritius. They also brought exotic animals like rats, cats, dogs, pigs, etc. In their new habitat in Mauritius, these animals became enemies of the poor dodo, who had no experience handling them. As mentioned earlier, dodos lay their eggs directly on the ground, so many of these exotic animals attack dodo nests and eat their young and newborns. Humans and exotic animals have held this native creature hostage in its own habitat.