Let us discover some of the most important dodo bird facts such as dodo bird diet, behavior, and its range. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird once inhabited the island of Mauritius, in the east of Madagascar in Indian Ocean. The Nicobar Pigeon is the considered to be the closest relative of dodo bird. The white dodo bird was mistakenly believed to have existed in the island of Reunion. Dodo bird became extinct due to several reasons such as human-hunting which was not too difficult as these birds were not fearful from humans; moreover, humans also introduced some other species that preyed these flightless birds thereby further reducing the numbers.
Dodo Bird Facts
The length of the dodo bird measured around 1 meter (3.3 feet), with the weighed measuring at 10 to 18 kg (22 to 40 lb). Little is known about the exact appearance of these flightless birds. However, evidence suggests that dodo bird showed brownish-grey plumage, bare neck, together with the yellow beak and feet.
Dodo bird used gizzard stones to digest food which included fruits and its primary habitat was deemed to exist in the drier coastal regions of Mauritius.
According to the scientists, dodo bird became flightless largely due to the abundance of food-availability and virtual absence of potential predators on Mauritius.
In the year 1598, hungry sailors together with their domesticated animals hunted dodo bird to the extinction. It was in 1662 when the last sighting of dodo bird was recorded.
The males were larger in comparison to the females.
They had a beak measuring at 23 cm (9.1 inches) in length.
Dodo bird was highly terrestrial bird and had no natural predators.
Scientists did not show enough evidences as to the behavior of dodo bird. However, they hold that these birds used to run quite faster which can be determined by its legs. They had known to build their nests on the ground.
What Did Dodo Birds Eat
Dodo birds were deemed to feed on seeds, bulbs, nuts, roots, and fallen fruits. For the reason that Mauritius had wet seasons, dodo had to rely on ripe fruits which were available at the end of the season when there was not enough food. These birds also consumed palm fruits, crabs, and shellfish. Crowned pigeons of today have a similar diet.
Why Did Dodo Birds Become Extinct
The dodo bird did not have any fear from humans which is why they were easily hunted down by sailors. Archaeological evidences prove further the mass killings of these birds. Besides, humans also introduced some other animals such as dogs, rats, pigs, and cats which plummeted dodo bird population. Habitat loss is another primary reason for the dodo bird extinction. Among these introduced species, rats were not considered to be the real threats as dodo bird were quite used to dealing with these species.