There are people who put the dodo in a fabulous category, with unicorns, dragons, griffins, and centaurs, and people are generally amazed that the dodo actually existed. The dodo lived. The dodo lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, four hundred or so miles east of Magadascar. The bare bones of the matter are that it lived there happily until Western man arrived, early in the sixteenth century. Presumably, before then, Arab traders had called at the island, but hadn’t disturbed the bird.
The dodo, a sort of exaggerated dove, grew fat and comfortable. Its wing eventually became so small that it couldn’t fly. It had a call like a tooth-filled pigeon, and laid one egg, the size of a breakfast roll. Having no enemies, it laid its egg upon the ground. The dod was lean in the hot, rainy season from October to March, and fat, weighing about fifty pounds, in the cool dry months from March to October. The Portuguese mariners, on their first trip to Mauritius, tired of their ship food, called it duodo, and the Dutch, arriving next, adapted this to their name for the little grebe, dodaers, fat arse. They also called it a nauseous bird, but after a diet of weevil biscuits the dodo was palatable. Whatever it tasted like, and opinions differed, the dodo was vulnerable. Crude engravings in captain West-Zanen’s journal shows sailors apparently clubbing dodoes to death. Pigs came ashore from the ships, as did rats.
Dodo eggs lay accessible on the ground. Between the rats, and man, as well as the pigs, now wild boars, who were described by Francois Leguat in 1693 as “devouring all the young animals they catch.” This downy, big-bodies, little winged bird was the first specis in recorded history to become extinct through human agency. A case of homo-sapiens becoming homo-ineptus.At the beginning of the nineteenth-century, doubt was cast on the fact it had ever existed, then in 1865, a large number of dodo bones were discovered in a muddy delta in Mauritius; ironically the same year in which Alice in Wonderland was published, and the dodo is one of the birds that fall into the pool of tears formed when Alice, nine feet tall, cries so much.
Extinction is a grandiose term, a hard to comprehend idea, but in this time of handy ethnological comparisons between man and rats and man and apes, the dodo tends to give it meaning. Do not adapt too well to a comfortable environment , the dodo says. Do not become too fat. Do not lay your egg upon the ground. Do not lose the power of your wings. ….
The remains of the last known stuffed dodo had been kept in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, but in the mid-18th century, the specimen – save the pieces remaining now – had entirely decayed and was ordered to be discarded by the museum’s curator or director in or around 1755.
In June 2007, adventurers exploring a cave in Mauritius discovered the most complete and well-preserved dodo skeleton ever.
According to artists’ renditions, the Dodo had greyish plumage, a 23-centimeter (9-inch) bill with a hooked point, very small wings, stout yellow legs, and a tuft of curly feathers high on its rear end. Dodos were very large
ds, weighing about 23 kg (50 pounds). The sternum was insufficient to support flight; these ground-bound birds evolved to take advantage of an island ecosystem with no predators.Read More:http://www.extinct-website.com/extinct-website/product_info.php?products_id=922
…Few took particular notice of the extinct bird. By the early 19th century it seemed altogether too strange a creature, and was believed by many to be a myth. With the discovery of the first batch of dodo bones in the Mauritian swamp, the Mare aux Songes, and the reports written about them by George Clarke, government schoolmaster at Mahébourg, from 1865 on, interest in the bird was rekindled. In the same year in which Clarke started to publish his reports, the newly vindicated bird was featured as a character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. With the popularity of the book, the dodo became a well-known and easily recognizable icon of extinction….( ibid.)