The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird. It was thought to become extinct as early as in the late 17th century. The dodo used to live near Madagascar off the coast of Indian Ocean around 300 years ago. Scientists believe that the present day Nicobar pigeon is the closest cousin of dodo bird.
Dodo Bird Facts for Kids
Adult dodos weighed as much as 23 – 39 pounds. It stood 3 feet 3 inches tall at the shoulder. Males weigh up to 46 pounds while females averaging 37 pounds.
Dodos had lived in Mauritius around 700 miles off Madagascar. They did not seem to have any defense against predators probably because there were not as many predators 700 years ago when the bird first arrived.
Dodo birds could have possibly fed on shellfish, crabs, bulbs, palm fruits, roots, nuts, and seeds.
Dodos had strong powerful legs which could assist it to run as fast as she possibly could. It couldn’t fly though.
They used to live with many other extinct birds such as Mauritian duck, Mauritian giant skink, small Mauritian flying fox, Mauritian shelduck, Mauritian night heron, Round Island burrowing boa, broad-billed parrot, and Mascarene coot.
Male dodos could live as long as 21 years while females had a lifespan of 17 years in the wild.
Predators who were mainly responsible for the dodo bird extinction were dogs, cats, rats, monkeys, crab-eating macaques, pigs, and above all humans.
The last of the dodo bird was seen in 1662. Dutch sailors used to hunt and eat dodo birds.