Sunday, March 30, 2014

Creature Feature #163: Dodo

The Dodo was a large, flightless pigeon who once roamed the forests of Mauritius. His fate was sealed, alas, when sailors landed on the island in the 16th century, bringing with them rats, cats, dogs, pigs - and guns. With no natural predators, the Dodo was a fearless and curious bird, eager to investigate these new arrivals. The sailors killed the Dodo not only for their meat, but for sport. This, combined with the impact the introduced animals had on their habitat, lead to the Dodo’s demise in 1662. Its extinction was not immediately noted - indeed the bird itself was considered a hoax - but he has now become the icon of extinction and the phrase “dead as a dodo” has become cliche.

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