History of a bird of Dodo perfectly illustrates the fact that some animals can disappear from a face of the planet, without having managed to become a study subject. Some consider that the name of a bird went on behalf of the fairy tale character famous from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Such nickname was assigned to the Mauritius dodo.
Strange bird of Dodo
Dodo's bird began to call the endemic living several centuries ago on the remote island of Mauritius located in the western part of the Indian Ocean. At many people this nickname contacts in consciousness the term "destruction" and the Red List. Scientists argue on emergence of the name "dodo" to this day. Some of them believe that this word has no relation to Alice and Strane Chudes. It has Portuguese roots – the word "dodo", perhaps, came from the modified term meaning:
These definitions to a certain extent characterize Dodo's behavior.
Mauritius dodo: description
On the island of Mauritius there were neither quadrupeds, nor feathery, nor the most dangerous biped predators. Therefore the dodo grew at rather slow and very slow bird. He did not need to evade from dangers or with great difficulty to get to itself a forage. Over time the dodo lost ability to fly, became massivny less by the sizes. Growth of a bird reached meter, and the dodo up to 25 kg weighed. He something reminded the fat goose only increased time in two. The heavy and massive stomach during movement of a bird was simply dragged on the ground. The dodo was not frightened sharp and loud sounds, and could move only on the ground – the bird was not accustomed to fly. Wings of a dodo – only several feathers.
It is considered that ancient pigeons who during flights over the ocean came off pack and located on the lonely island were distant ancestors of a dodo. There was it not less than one and a half million years ago. The huge not flying birds of which carefree life in the earthly paradise led to death became a result of far come specialization.
The bird preferred to live in a solitude, uniting in married couples only with approach of the marriage period. The female could lay only one eggs. Parents attentively looked after future pet, preserving egg against not numerous dangers. Nests of these birds represented the hillock located directly on the earth. The nest was made of branches and palm leaves. There Dodo also laid the only eggs of the large size. Interesting fact: if the alien dodo intended to approach a nest, it was banished by a bird of the same floor.
All who happened to see a dodo pointed to an indelible impression which was made on them by appearance of not flying bird. Some compared them to the big ugly swans possessing the huge head. At others the dodo was associated with very large turkey. Here only paws of a bird were thicker and stronger.
Dodo's paws with four fingers and really remind indyushach. On the head of a bird there were no cops or combs; instead of a tail some feathers stuck out. And the breast was painted – as at a pheasant.
The hooked beak of Dodo struck observers with the absurdity. Length reached it 15-20 cm. Skin around a beak and eyes had no plumage. The form the beak of a dodo something is similar to a beak of an albatross.
Dodo had no wings per se, only rudiments. The lack of aspiration to flight led to the fact that at a dodo the muscles setting wings in motion were not developed. Was not at Dodo and a keel on a breast (to it at birds such muscles fasten).
History of the Mauritius dodo
It is necessary to tell that the relative of this bird lived also on other plot of land of the Maskarensky archipelago, on the island Rodriguez. But this dodo hermit treated other look. These "hermits" were lucky to live before the beginning of the 19th century.
And here the dodo about Mauritius finished the terrestrial history in 1681. As it is accepted in the history, cloudless life of this feathery came to the end after emergence on the archipelago of representatives of the Old World.
Possibly, to these regions also the Arab dealers-seamen swam away earlier. But to trade on desert islands there was nobody, and features of local fauna hardly strongly interested businessmen.
When to coast of Mauritius the European sailing vessels began to arrive, sailors saw very strange a look a bird: by the sizes she exceeded an ordinary turkey-cock three times. At the very end of the 16th century to Mauritius there arrived the squadron of the Dutch ships. The admiral Jakov van Nek began to make the list of all live that was available on the island. From these records subsequently Europe also learned about existence on Mauritius of a strange bird.
The dodo who got subsequently the nickname "dodo" absolutely quietly approached people, without being afraid of them at all. Even it was not necessary to hunt this bird really: it was necessary just to approach a dodo closer and more feasibly to knock a fleshy bird on the head. At approach of the person the bird did not do attempts to escape: their trustfulness, serenity and considerable weight did not allow them to make it.
The Portuguese and Dutches mastering waters of the Indian Ocean considered meat of dodos the best view of ship supplies. Quite often European sailors suited entertainments, competing who will slaughter more dodos. But meat of three birds could support team of the regular vessel quite. And ten salted Dodo quite were enough for long swimming. And still holds of the ships quite often chock-full filled dead and live dodos. By the way, sailors considered that Dodo's meat not too tasty. However it was possible to get it with little effort.
With Dodo's extermination the people were actively helped by those whom Europeans brought. Enemies of a dodo were:
These animals ate infinite amount of eggs and baby birds of slow dodos.
As a result for very short term the bird was completely destroyed. There were only drawings of a dodo as the photo at that time was not invented yet. It is considered to be that the best sketches of Dodo are executed by the English artist Herri who watched long time a live bird. This image is stored in the British museum.
Traditionally it is considered that the dodo reminded by the form a fat and clumsy pigeon or a turkey-cock. But some scientists believe that former artists drew the individuals overfed in captivity. There are images of more slender birds made in a natural situation.
Dodo in Europe
In the world any full skeleton of a dodo so far did not remain. The single copy stored in the museum of London was destroyed by elements at the fire in 1755. It was succeeded to save from fire only a pad and the kryuchkonosy head of Dodo.
Travelers tried to bring a dodo to Europe more than once to show him there alive. But this invention left nothing good. Getting to an imprisonment, the bird began to suffer, refused to eat food and as a result died.
The Japanese ecologists, studying ancient documents, established that in general to Europe nevertheless it was succeeded to deliver dozen of copies of Dodo:
- to Holland – 9 birds;
- to England – 2 birds;
- to Italy – 1 bird.
Perhaps, one dodo was delivered also to Japan, but it was not succeeded to find reliable data about it in sources yet.
The bethought Europeans tried to help birds. Hunting for a dodo as a result was forbidden. The escaped individuals were lodged in open-air cages. But the bird did not want to breed in the conditions of bondage in any way. And those rare dodos that disappeared in far forests, became the victims of rats and cats.
Enthusiasts suggest to make a dodo long ago a symbol of rescue of those birds who are put on a side of extinction and disappearance today.