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The extinction of animals is a very real but tragic topic. I have often researched many species that will never be seen again. I find myself getting emotional over the fatality of so many different species. One species in particular fascinates me, The Dodo. Not just because the name is quirky and seems to fit the bird perfectly, but because of the history behind the Dodo. The Dodo is a lesson in extinction. It was sighted on Mauritius around the 1600 on an island in the Indian Ocean. About sixty years later, it became extinct.
When most people think of a Dodo, they remember the Dodo depicted in the children’s story “Alice in Wonderland”. Much of the fascination with Dodo’s comes from this tale. Unfortunately, the tale is what it is… a story. The facts of a Dodo are very few and scientists are still trying to figure out the birds existence and how it ticked.
The Dodo is bigger than a turkey, approximately weighing 23 kilograms. They would wade in ponds to catch fish for food. They inhabited the forests on the island where they would lay one large egg on a mass of grass. Scientists have deduced from studying the DNA that the Dodo is a descendant of the pigeon. The written reports and illustration of sailors and ship’s naturalists, as well as the information gathered by scientists are all that we have to see a glimpse into the Dodo’s life on Earth.
Unfortunately, there are no complete Dodo specimens. Many theories as to why this is have arisen. Some say the birds may have been eaten by Dutch sailors who discovered them. Others believe the primary cause of their demise was from the destruction of the forest, which cut off their food supply. The animals the sailors brought with them also destroyed the Dodo nests.
From the history and remains collected we can tell the bird was a flightless one. The Dodo’s wings are stubby and heavy, and it’s body ungainly. The small breastbone is too small to support the pectoral muscles a bird this size would need to fly. Scientists believe that the Dodo evolved from a bird capable of flight to a flightless one. Once the Dodo landed on Mauritius, it found a habitat with plenty of food and no predators giving the bird no need to fly. It was more efficient, energy wise, for the bird to remain on the ground. This is how the flightless Dodo evolved.
What remains of the Dodo? Only odd skeleton and other body parts, such as head and feet, scattered around the world in museums. Scientists have discovered the evolution of the Dodo by using fragments of DNA that have been extracted from the bones. The search for information still continues to this day but much of the Dodo’s existence is still a mystery.
I have decided to do a weekly posting about my life in general. As much as I love writing about animals, I sometimes feel like talking about other things (mostly what’s been happening in my life). Since I don’t feel like doing it all that often- Nor getting another blog for such matters, I have decided to post a weekly (don’t kill me if I skip a week or something) blog about my lifely matters.
So I shall start here and now. This past week was a busy one for me. Not only have I been having to deal with my poor cat and her leukemia but I have had an awful week of work. I worked much overtime and put a lot of my energy into it. I am feeling a bit tired but now am refreshed it is over and have some more down time with myself and my boyfriend. I started reading “Cell” by Stephen King (one of his new ones) and have almost finished it loving every word. It’s got a Zombie/End of the world feel to it (which I love in books/movies, basically any media). I highly recommend it. Also, I have been waiting to go snowboarding… it is finally been cold enough around here and we got a nice chunk of snow… alas this work week cut into my plans to go this past Sunday and I have to plan something this week/weekend hopefully (it was considerably warm today and I am afraid it will be like that tomorrow and melt all of the snow). So yeah, if it wasn’t for work… I may have more interesting things to tell but this is the way life goes… take it or leave it right? And since I am not suicidal… I shall take it. Enjoy the moments you have… I always try to at least. Have a great week everyone and take it easy… that IS something I plan to do this week for sure!
My boyfriend has started a blog… check him out since he is new and all alone in the wordpress community.