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History: The Dodo Bird

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Although this bird is called the dodo, it wasn't a particularly stupid bird. When visitors to the island of Mauritius, off the coast of Africa, first saw the bird they thought its friendly approach meant the bird was dumb.

Where'd the Dodo Go?

Gray in color, the dodo bird may have been a relative of the pigeon family. It had a large, hooked beak and white feathers attached to its tail. This wingless bird had no enemies on the island and was safe living on the ground. In 1581, when dogs and pigs were brought onto the island, things changed. Man introduced other new species and started hunting the dodo bird. Eventually, the dodo became extinct. Although the exact date isn't certain, people believe these birds were last seen around 1681.

That's All Folks - The Calvaria Goes the way of the Dodo

With the extinction of the dodo came the end of the Calvaria tree because it relied on the dodo to spread its seeds. When the dodo ate the fruit from the tree, it couldn't digest it and would poop it out. This is how the seeds were spread. No dodo droppings - no Calvaria tree.

What Do We Know About the Dodo?

There are no dodos today for scientist to examine, and paintings and drawings of this wingless bird are all very different in size. Known technically as Raphus Cucullatus, some scientists believe the dodo was extremely overweight while others think it was much thinner and a running bird, like an Ostrich. With no complete skeleton, scientist can only guess.

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