The saddest, but most important, fact about the dodo is that it is now extinct, and it was once believed that Dutchsailors to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean ate the bird into extinction (the dodo showed no fear of humans and so was easy to catch), but reports from that time indicate a bad of tasting and tough meat, so this is almost certainly untrue.
It is considered more likely that other animals destroyed or ate the dodo’s eggs, awhile simultaneously taking over the areas in which they lived, resulting in the large bird’s extinction.
The last known living dodo is said to have died in 1681, just 175 years after they were first discovered but western explorers.
The dodo was only found on one island because they could not fly, and with no natural predators before humans arrived, the bird never evolved any natural defense mechanisms.
Because they died out just over 300 years ago, there were obviously no cameras at that time, so the appearance of the dodo today – as with the image above – is based solely on early descriptions and sketched by naturalists.
It wasn’t until 2007 that explorers found the complete skeleton of a dodo – until that time there was only the leg and skull bones of a single bird that made up the most complete single animal specimen that was available – and we now still don’t know exactly what colors the birds were, or even exactly how big they were.
From such specimens, we do know that the dodo was probable around three feet tall and weighed around 25 kilograms, with large head and hooked beak, stubby wings and thick legs.