dodo n., an extinct flightless bird, once a native of the island of Mauritius. Discovered 1598, extinct by 1681.
Dodos are another one of those fascinating creatures that speculation makes all the more interesting...were they really that stupid? What did we do exactly to make them extinct? Why are they called Dodo?
For me, dinosaurs were fascinating too...but I always felt jipped reading stuff about them because I thought, will we ever really know? I don't, and will probably never, know what colour a triceratops was...a lot of it could just be guesswork which isn't good enough for a kid who wants to know for real.
But a Dodo? We were around for Dodos in the 1600's when they dissapeared...in fact, we are probably the main reason they are no longer around. This makes me sad, even sadder that they are now relegated to a caricature of a silly oafish animal.
When my friend Meg first told me that they have a stuffed one in London I was beside myself with glee and after months of saving to get over there (not to see the Dodo! but still) and anticipation and telling everyone about how excited I was to see a Dodo in the flesh...I made a beeline for it in the Museum of Natural History.
In truth, I don't think it's a proper Dodo, rather a very convincing reconstruction. They do have a Dodo skeleton however, but again I think it's an amalgam of a few different Dodos put together for one complete skeleton.
Even so...once again:
-Were they really that stupid?
-What did we do exactly to make them extinct?
-Why are they called Dodo?
I'm sure these questions can be answered by that ever-reliable information source, Wikipedia *cough* but I can't help wondering if there was some easy way we could have avoided their extinction. If we had Dodos running around and in zoos today I doubt they would have that mythical and comical story-book air about them.
I'd take my chances though.