Human Interference Led To The Extinction Of The Dodo Bird By 1690, But Now, A Genetic Engineering Company Is Working To Revive This Bird Species And Return It To Its Original Habitat

Dmitry Chulov - - illustrative purposes only

The Dodo is an iconic character that appears in Lewis Carroll’s fictional novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Since the children’s book is a work of fiction, perhaps you may have thought that the dodo bird itself was also spun from the imagination of a creative writer.

And you wouldn’t be alone. Even during the nineteenth century, many people were under the impression that the dodo bird was a mythical creature. However, the flightless, large-beaked birds were real and actually existed.

Portuguese sailors discovered the birds in the early 1500s, but the first documented mention of them was not until 1598 by Dutch explorers.

The last dodo sighting was in 1662, and they are estimated to have gone completely extinct by the year 1690. It’s bizarre to think that they ceased to exist less than one hundred years after showing up in historical records.

So, how did the bird’s population decline so quickly? Dodo birds are native to the tropical island of Mauritius. It was a secluded paradise with plenty of resources, so the birds really had no reason to leave. In fact, it is believed that the dodos evolved into flightless birds because their living conditions were so ideal. They thrived until humans arrived at their habitat in the late 1500s.

Before humans interfered, they were able to maintain a steady population even though a dodo bird laid only one egg per year. Several species were introduced on the island, including rats, pigs, goats, and deer, all of which contributed to the dodo’s demise.

The dodo bird has a reputation for being simple-minded, but in reality, that wasn’t the case. Until humans came along, dodo birds didn’t have any natural predators. Because they had never been hunted or preyed upon, they were unaware of the dangers that predatory species presented.

The birds also built their nests on the ground since they weren’t able to fly. This made it so that their eggs were easy to reach by the other animals or destroyed by humans traipsing through the island.

Additionally, dodo birds were known for eating rocks, which doesn’t help their reputation of being stupid. However, they had a purpose for incorporating rocks into their diet. Consuming rocks before fruit, nuts, seeds, and shellfish aided in digestion because the rocks ground up the rest of the food they swallowed.

Dmitry Chulov – – illustrative purposes only

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