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Dodo Bird and Why It Went Extinct Research Paper

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Updated: May 16th, 2022


For a long time, man has been found to be the major agent contributing to extinction of various species of animals and plants. Some of the plants have been found to have medicinal value leading to man exploiting almost all of them. Continued use of these plants coupled with poor environmental conditions has led to the extinction of these plants. The act of hunting by man has also contributed to the extinction of birds and some species of mammals. There are various beliefs among different people regarding some species of animals that have led to man hunting these animals. One of the extinct species of bird is the dodo bird. For many years there has been no trace for the bird. Its extinction has made it hard for scholars to classify the bird when it comes to taxonomy of birds. The dodo extinction reminds people that every in this world is precious. The disappearance of one species has an adverse effect to mankind and nature.

Morphology of the dodo bird

There has been an attempt to compare the bird and the solitaire morphologically. However, from research conducted by Andrew Kitchener of the Royal Museum of Scotland, it is now clear that the two birds were different morphologically. As most of the paintings showed, it has been discovered that dodo bird was not very fat as it is represented in this paintings. Dodo was a flightless bird that lived in island found in Mauritius (BirdLife International para. 2). The bird is related to the family of pigeons and doves three feet tall and weighing approximately twenty kilograms. The bird fed on fruits and built its nest on the ground. The bird had grayish feathers, a twenty three centimeters beak with a hooked point. Dodo had fat yellow legs, very small wings and bunch of curly feathers at the tail. The weight of the bird could not allow it to fly. Scientist argues that the image of dodo bird representing it as a fat bird was obtained from those dodo’s that been captured, overfed and reared at homes (Staub para. 4).

Reason that made dodo bird extinct

Despite dodo living in areas with no predators, the bird still faced extinction. There are various reasons attributed to the bird’s extinction. Most of these reasons were associated with human activities. After living under no threats in the islands for many years, dodo bird had developed no defense techniques. This coupled with its inability to fly made it vulnerable not only to human beings but also to various animals that man came with to the island. Man hunted the animal for food and sports. As it laid its eggs on the ground, it was possible for dogs and cats to get these eggs. This made it hard for it to multiply. The birds were not afraid of man (Hume para. 1). This made it easy for man to catch them. The impacts that the pigs had on the birds population is believed to be severe than that of hunting. As they scavenged, they trampled on the bird’s eggs as well as killing their young ones left on the nests. Continued deforestation led to their hiding places being exposed. This made it possible for dogs and cats to prey on the bird (Yenra para. 5).


Since dodo’s extinction, it has been hard to clearly bring out its morphology. Most of the drawings represent it as a fat bird. However, scientists have proofed that it was s flightless bird with very small wings but not too fat. Its extinction is attributed to human activities. Man hunted the bird for spots and food while animals kept by man fed on the bird as well as its eggs. Today’s significance of the bird in education reminds human being that every animal is precious in this world and its our duty to protect them to save nature and human.

Works Cited

BirdLife International (2004). Raphus cucullatus. 2006. Web.

Hume, Julian. The history of the Dodo Raphus cucullatus and the penguin of Mauritius. 2008. Web.

Staub, France. Dodo and Solitaires, Myths and Reality. 1995. Web.

Yenra. Dodo Bird History, Pictures, Extinction: Origins and isolation of the Dodo Bird. 2003. Web.

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