The Dodo was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. It stood about a meter tall, weighing about 20 kilograms. The species lost the ability to fly because food on Mauritius was abundant and mammalian predators were absent. It was related to pigeons and doves and its closest relative was the Rodrigues Solitaire which is also extinct. The dodo was first mentioned by Dutch sailors in 1598. By 1681, all dodos had been killed by hungry sailors or their domesticated animals. This was not realized at the time since the dodo barely left any traces after its extinction.
The dodo was made well-known to the public due to a notable role in Alice in Wonderland and it has since become a fixture in popular culture. Its name has subsequently become associated with the notion of extinction and obsolescence. No complete dodo specimens exist to this day, making the external appearance, such as plumage and coloration, hard to determine.
It has been suggested that they lived in woods on the drier coastal areas of south and west Mauritius. The dodo probably fattened itself on ripe fruits at the end of the wet season to live through the dry season when food was scarce. The dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness made it easy prey for humans. When humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques which plundered the dodo nests while humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes.
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