Scientists Finally Know The Real Reason Dodo Birds Went Extinct
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Scientists Finally Know The Real Reason Dodo Birds Went Extinct

If there’s one thing most people know about
the dodo bird, it’s that they were dumb. If they had been human, they would have been
the kind of person who changes pants while driving. Yes, legend has it, this creature was only
really ever a danger to itself, a true poster child for The Darwin Awards…at least, that’s
the story we’ve been fed. But is it true? Turns out, the whole story that the dumb dodo
got itself hunted to extinction by being so stupid may have been a big load of doodoo. Leon Claessens, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology
and Evolution at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University, believes the Dutch sailors who
first encountered the bird in 1598 didn’t actually hunt the birds to extinction, though
the sailors likely had an indirect role in the demise of the species. Previously, it was believed the birds were
fat, and were hunted for food. But in the dense jungles of their native Mauritius,
the bird would have been much leaner than previously thought, and therefore, not as
appetizing of a meal. Further, these jungles would have also made
it much harder for the few hundred sailors to catch the birds, regardless of how unafraid
the dodos were of human beings. Claessens believes the real problem was the
rats and other animals that would have landed with the sailors. These animals would have been able to multiply
quickly in an unrestricted habitat, and would have feasted on dodo eggs and outcompeted
them for food, a double-extinction whammy. And then the triple whammy hit: rapid habitat
loss. The island of Mauritius was not initially
considered very valuable; just a place for ships to stop over. Some even thought the island was cursed due
to a large amount of shipwrecks in the area. That all changed when the Dutch realized they
could export the island’s ebony wood for sale, which became the island’s primary economic
activity. Not long after, settlers were turning the
once-wild island into a big agricultural plantation, leading to heavy deforestation and loss of
native plant species. The forest that provided natural protection
for the dodo bird gave way to sugar cane fields, making the birds oversized sitting ducks for
any predator who came along, as the dodos literally had no fight or flight reflex. Lack of flight also made dodos ill-suited
to surviving natural disasters. Evidence has been found that even before human
settlement, many of the birds died in flash floods brought on by cyclones. Once they lost the natural protection of their
sheltered forests, they became even more vulnerable. The entry for “dodo” in the Oxford English
Dictionary describes something that is “no longer effective, valid, or interesting,”
and the origin of the word comes from the Portuguese doudou, translating to “simpleton.” It’s a sad legacy for what was once a beautiful,
totally innocent creature. Beyond their reputation for stupidity, dodos
are a symbol of how quickly and profoundly humans can impact an environment and drive
a species to extinction. Until we can clone them, dodos are gone forever,
and the best thing we can do about it is to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. It only took a hundred years to wipe out the
dodo, and while exact dates of extinction vary, most believe the dodo was gone by the
1660s, with other reports claiming they lasted on nearby islands until the 1690s. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t
matter much, because either way the bird, and just about every trace of it, is gone
forever. All we’ve got are a few records and sketches
from sailors, and one or two shoddily stuffed birds in museums. We’re hardly even sure what color they were. Most paintings from the time show dodos with
white feathers, but firsthand accounts describe them with gray to black plumage. Heck, we didn’t even know they had kneecaps
until 2014, after a 3D scan of the last remaining skeleton revealed them. So have we learned our lesson? Not yet, it seems: in another hundred years,
it’s estimated that 25 percent of all bird species will be extinct in the wild unless
we take big steps to clean up our act. If not, we’ll be the real dodos. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
animals are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

93 thoughts on “Scientists Finally Know The Real Reason Dodo Birds Went Extinct

  1. We all know that the Dodo died out because they only had saved one melon to eat during the hole ice age. And the last female fell into lava too.

  2. They were wiped out because of humans. Who over populate this earth and kill and wipe out everything. Time nature fights back.

  3. Bit of Dodo trivia. If you ever see a taxidermied Dodo, it will be a chicken made to look like a Dodo. There was one real taxidermied one, but it was destroyed in a fire at the Natural History Museum in London a very long time ago.

  4. "Doudou" is not Portuguese for simpleton, hell, it's not even a word in Portuguese. "Doido" means crazy/mentally challenged (this last one i.e. medically speaking) which is as close as i can get to the word "Doudou".

    Source: Portuguese.

  5. The human race is such a destructive, inconsiderate species. Wherever they landed, they destroyed and brought to the brink or complete extinction a lot of these other species. Not to mention deplete all resources… Till this very day. Maybe, as the Dodo, after centuries of wrongdoing, we're next on the chopping block as a species. At least, the Poor Dodo has been redeemed!

  6. What do you mean extinct? They're not extinct. They dyed their hair multi colors. Pierced every orifice in their face. And they're running around the streets of democrat cities carrying signs… bitching about our freedom.
    They seem pretty alive and well to me.

  7. The real reason they went extinct is really quite fascinating so don't believe comments that say don't waste your time it was……..that they went extinct

  8. Clone them? For what theyll only end up as food again and to maybe keep one or two in captivity in zoos for ppl to gawk at other than that theyll be back on dinner plates

  9. Dodos were not dumb, you dumb fuck. Humans are dumb. They destroy everything they touch, they want to kill each other all the time, they pollute everything even the places they live in. They shit, piss everywhere. Human are dumbest fuck brains on this planet. Tne only thing they like is money, power and fucking.

  10. Simpletons or not, they still win a Darwin award. There's also another pretty similar bird out there, the grouse. Most have little to no fear of man, and we actively hunt them, as they're delicious. These birds will walk right into ur camp, and stand still as you shoot all their mates.

  11. Does "Doudou" mean simpleton in Portuguese of Portugal? because it definitely does not in Brazilian Portuguese… "dou" does mean "I give it" in Portuguese, though… which… doesn't really make much sense naming a bird after it…

  12. Giant wind generators and fields of solar panels kill thousand of birds every year. But hey, if it fits a leftist agenda, we should probably ignore it.

  13. Sorry fellow human but we are a disease that kills everything we come in contact with clone them and kill off human then justice is found sad to see animal that cant protect them self from the likes of us smh

  14. I mean, the most compelling argument is still the fact that they had no natural enemies, thus, in order for nature to restore balance across a species which has no natural enemies would be a virus or other disease that would wipe out a large portion of them which probably would have occurred. Also, they never adapted to the threats of rats and other new creatures on the island which threatened their offspring, so a complete lack of natural instincts pretty much sealed their fate.

  15. With 200 species extinctions daily(!) we're well into huge disaster territory and no politicians seems to address this big time. Humans are dodo's too.

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