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The Dodo

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Jonas Monsaraz

on 25 April 2010

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Transcript of The Dodo

The Dodo The dodo was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall, weighing about 20 kilograms, living on fruit, and nesting on the ground.

The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century.It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history and was directly attributable to human activity.

The dodo was a close relative of modern pigeons and doves As with many animals that have evolved in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness, made it easy prey for humans. However, journals are full of reports regarding the bad taste and tough meat of the dodo, while other local species such as the Red Rail were praised for their taste. When humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before, including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques, which plundered the dodo nests, while humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes Although there are scattered reports of mass killings of dodos for provisioning of ships, archaeological investigations have hitherto found scant evidence of human predation on these birds. Some bones of at least two dodos were found in caves at Baie du Cap which were used as shelters by fugitive slaves and convicts in the 17th century, but due to their isolation in high, broken terrain, were not easily accessible to dodos naturally. The dodo is used by many environmental organizations that promote the protection of endangered species, such as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoological Park, founded by Gerald Durrell The dodo's significance as one of the best-known extinct animals and its singular appearance has led to its use in literature and popular culture to symbolize a concept or object that will or has become out of date, as in the expression "dead as a dodo" or "gone the way of the dodo" Skeleton of a dodo put together from bones found in a marshy pool on Mauritius, and the dried leg of a specimen which was brought alive to Europe about the year 1600, in Natural History Museum
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