Apart from redating the colonization of Madagascar, the new discovery reopens the question why the local megafauna went extinct. The dodo, or Raphus cucullatus if you want to get fancy, is an extinct species of flightless bird that was native to the tiny island nation of Mauritius before it sadly died out. "The main purpose dodos served to humans, in the brief contact between the two species, was as food. Life was sweet for dodos until humans also discovered the Mascarenes, in the late 1500s. The dodo was a large flightless bird was native to the Island of Mauritius (located to the east of Africa and Madagascar). Despite the fact that humans were far bigger then them, dodos were not afraid of these intruders. This species is best known for becoming extinct in the 17th century, with the last sighting of this species in 1688. The island of Mauritius, where the Dodo Bird lived. 19 Sep, 2013 animals. Why did they go extinct? And the answer is, well, complicated. Recently a scientist noticed that a certain species of tree was becoming quite rare on Mauritius. Sometime during the Pleistocene epoch, a badly lost flock of pigeons landed on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, located about 700 miles east of Madagascar. Still, they were hunted intensely, with sailors sometimes bringing back as many as 50 at a time. Although the dodo bird became extinct in 1681, its story is not over. The dodo had no natural enemies on Mauritius. Why did the dodo became extinct? We are just beginning to understand the effects of its extinction on the ecosystem. The tree has not germinated since the 1600s and only thirteen trees remain. Within a century, the last dodo bird died and marked its extinction. The dodo is frequently cited as one of the most well-known examples of human-induced extinction and also serves as a symbol of obsolescence with respect to human technological progress. This was the dodo’s home and the two species formed a symbiotic relationship where they depended on each other to survive. Sailors who arrived on the island of Mauritius from the year 1598 started hunting dodos, and initiated mass killings, to the point where these birds were extinct by 1681. Apparently, humans and elephant birds coexisted for almost 9,000 years. Along with the dodo bird, the Calvaria tree also went extinct. Due to their inability to fly and lack of previous exposure to predators dodos were at risk as soon as Dutch sailors landed on their island in 1598. The sailors frequently fed on wildlife from Mauritius while staying there, although it has been said that dodo meat was not particularly tasty. Fearless and … The dodo was extinct by 1681, the Réunion solitaire by 1746, and the Rodrigues solitaire by about 1790. In fact, he noticed that all 13 of the remaining trees of this species were about 300 years old. 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