Dodo Birds

     The dodo bird is a large, flightless bird, now extinct. The Mauritius dodo once
inhabited the forests of the island of Mauritius. About the size of a turkey,
the bird had a large hooked bill, undeveloped wings and tail, and short, thick,
yellow legs. It laid a single, large egg in a ground nest made of grass. The
dodo was first reported in 1598 by Dutch colonizers, who characterized it as a
sluggish bird unafraid of humans. Dodos were last observed in 1681. The quick
extinction of the species is attributed in part to domestic animals imported to

Mauritius by the settlers; animals such as hogs escaped to the woods,
multiplied, and destroyed many of the dodo eggs. The name dodo is derived from
the Portuguese word duodo, meaning silly or stupid. In present-day usage the
word dodo is applied to a simple-minded person unable to adjust to new
situations and ideas.