ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Extinct Dodo Bird

Updated on March 17, 2013

The Dodo bird was discovered on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in 1507 by Portuguese explorers. By 1681, the Dodo was declared extinct. Portuguese sailors were the ones who named this friendly bird that had been isolated on the island for years. The sailors named it the Dodo, after the word "dou dou" meaning "simpleton" because of its child-like demeanor and lack of fear. The Dodos had gotten so used to living predator-less lives that they weren't afraid of humans or any other living things. The Dodo gained a reputation of being stupid, although it likely was not. Unfortunately, the Dodo bird became endangered and extinct because of humans. Not only were people killing the birds for food, when the Portuguese used the island as a penal colony, they also introduced dogs and pigs to the ecosystem. These "alien" animals killed off the Dodo bird population by ransacking nests and eating the eggs and young.

A Mauritius Factoid: Of the 45 original bird species on the island, only 21 are left.

Scientists believe that the Dodo evolved into its flightless nature. Once able to fly, the Dodo bird gave up flight for the ability to store a lot of fat during times of scarcity. When fruit was not abundant, the Dodo had to figure out ways to store food as fat in its body for later use. Since there were no predators on the island, prior to the arrival of humans, the Dodo's evolution makes a lot of sense.

In fact, humans are responsible for the extinction of many flightless birds around the world...particularly those who live on islands that were once untouched by man. The Dodo is often used as the classic example of extinction caused by humans.

Dodo Reproductive Habits

According to early records, Dodo birds had monogamous relationships, mating with only one bird for life. Dodo birds bred all year long. The females laid one egg at a time, which hatched 49 days after appearing in the nest, usually in tall grasses. Both parents took turns taking care of the eggs and young.

Mating Ritual: Dodo birds clapped their wings together to attract each other.

Dodo Bird ~ Field Museum Display
Dodo Bird ~ Field Museum Display | Source

Dodo Facts

  • The Dodo bird is related to pigeons and doves.
  • The Dodo bird's average height: 3.3 feet or 1 meter tall.
  • The Dodo bird's average weight: 44 lbs or 20 kgs.
  • The Dodo bird's diet: fruit.
  • Dodo birds nested on the ground ~ they are flightless.
  • The Dodo bird had greyish, blueish plumage.
  • The Dodo bird had a 9-inch bill ~ 23 cm.
  • Dodo birds don't have tongues.

The Dodo Myths

Many people believe the Dodo bird to be a fat, sloppy, clumsy bird that was not very intelligent. In fact, scientists have recently revealed that through examination of their bones and early drawings, the Dodo was actually a rather thin, fast bird. It was actually built much like passenger pigeons, which have also become extinct.

Some people also claimed that the Dodo became extinct strictly because people were hunting and eating them. Others have documented that Dodo meat tasted horrible and they really were not killed for consumption purposes. The facts on this one will never be set straight as eating an extinct bird is impossible.

The Domino's Effect

Due to the extinction of the Dodo bird, the Calvaria tree also became extinct. The tree depended on the Dodo bird to spread its seeds. The Dodo would eat the fruit from the tree, but couldn't digest it. As a result, when the Dodo pooped, it would spread the Cavlaria tree seeds. The seeds wouldn't germinate unless it went through the Dodo's digestive system. This is known as animal-plant mutualism. Without the Dodo to eat the Calvaria fruit, the tree eventually faced extinction as well.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)