Dodo Bird Facts
The world has rarely seen a more awkward looking animal than the Dodo Bird. This flightless bird that was once plentiful on the island of Mauritius near Madagascar is now extinct.
In fact when people think of animals that have gone extinct it is often this bird that comes to mind; therefore the saying "as dead as a dodo".
On this page of recently extinct animal facts we list information about the Dodo Bird including what this species looked like, where it lived and why it became extinct. Both kids
and adults should find this information interesting and useful.
Dodo Bird Appearance
Since this animal died out in 1662 much of what we know about its appearance comes from written accounts, sketches, and paintings; which sometimes contradict each other. This
makes it hard to determine what color(s) it was and what type of plumage it had. However scientist have examined skeletal remains unearthed on Mauritius and remains of some of the
birds that were brought to Europe in the late 1600s and therefore were able to determine its height, beak size, and skeletal structure.
- This animal was about 3.3 feet (1 meter) tall.
- It is believed the average Dodo Bird in the wild weighed between 22 and 40 pounds (10 to 18 kilograms).
- According to most accounts the Dodo was grey or brown and had lighter feathers on its rear end that were curly.
- It is believed this animal had a beak that was green, black, and yellow.
- It most likely had a bare grey face.
- It had short sturdy legs that were believed to be yellow with black claws.
Interesting Dodo Bird Facts
- Historians are uncertain about how this animal got its name; "Dodo". Its name may have been derived from the Dutch word "dodoor" (sluggard) or from the Portuguese word "doudo"
- This bird was endemic (restricted) to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is approximately seven hundred miles east of Madagascar.
- Dutch sailors and settlers to Mauritius in 1598 were most likely the first humans to see these birds.
- The Dodo Birds main food source was believed to be fruit.
- Before the appearance of humans on the island of Mauritius the Dodo bird had it pretty good and thrived; its habitat had no predators, plenty of food sources, and a mild climate.
- This poor bird lasted less than 70 years after the first humans set foot on Mauritius. There are many reasons for its quick demise with the main factor being humans killing them
for food. Having no predators, before humans arrived, these birds had no fear of the people who came to their island. There are accounts of these poor creatures walking up to
settlers having no idea they were about to be killed for lunch.
- Contributing to the Dodo bird's quick demise is the fact that the females laid one egg at a time. The settlers of Mauritius along with the animals they brought with them,
especially the pig, used the eggs as a food source. Therefore with the rapid pace at which these animals were being killed along with the slow pace at which the species was being
replenished led to a quick extinction.
- The last sighting of this animal was in 1662.