I’m joining in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series with Through the Calm and Through the Storm as well as Adventures with Jude. Here is week three – I will be having animals as my theme.
So far we have covered:
Today we will learn about the Dodo.
So, honestly … I didn’t really think there was a “dodo” animal … come to find out – there *IS*(or was) – and it is a kind of bird – that is now extinct. (I know several of you are sharing these posts with your kids so I’ll add, for their benefit, that extinct means no longer in existence.) Remember the birds from the Ice Age movie? Well … those were dodos! Here is a sample picture:
Scientific Name: Raphus cucullatus
The dodo, bigger than a turkey, weighed about 50 pounds. It had blue-gray plumage, a big head, a 9-inch blackish bill with reddish sheath forming the hooked tip, small useless wings, stout yellow legs, and a tuft of curly feathers high on its rear end.
The first documented appearance of the dodo bird is in the early 15th century by Dutch explorers. Dutch vice-admiral Wybrand Van Warwijck used the name “walgyogel” in his journal to describe the bird after his visit to the island of Mauritius in 1598. The origins of word dodo to describe the bird is still unclear, but some ascribe it to the Dutch word dodoaars referring to the birds knot of feathers. Even though the Portuguese visited the island first in 1507, no records show of them mentioning the bird. But, according to the Portuguese dictionary, the word “dodo” is derived from doido meaning “fool” or “crazy”.
Because the dodo bird’s natural environment lacked any significant predators, dodos were fearless of people. This, combined with flightlessness, made them an easy prey. With combination of human hunting and becoming prey for animals brought onto the island by the explorers (i.e. dogs, cats, pigs, and rats) dodo birds became extinct in late 17th century.The dodo was extinct by 1681.
Like penguins, dodos did not use their short wings to fly. The breastbone was too small to support the large pectoral muscles that would have been required for flight.
The dodo’s significance as one of the best-known extinct animals and its singular appearance has led to its widespread use in literature and popular culture. The public’s fascination with the bird is often attributed to its appearance in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). With the popularity of the book, the dodo became perhaps the best-known extinct animal and “dead as a Dodo” became a household phrase.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about the dodo as much as I did! Come back next week when we cover the letter E and discuss the Eagle.
Now go check out all the other posts of those who are joining in with Blogging Through the Alphabet. They can post this entire week so make sure to check back and see what has been added!
Enjoy the journey!