Fiche Thématique du Dodo

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Dodo by Muséum d'histoire naturelle, Genève

I have no idea how or when did I found this, but probably a long long time ago a saved a link the following PDF: Fiches Thématiques De la Bibliothèque du MHNG nº2 – Le Dodo. The MHNG in question is the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève. I tried to find a page that links to that PDF without any luck, so I choose share it directly.

The thematic card is all in French, but if you already know the dodos history there are not many news on it. It tells the sad story of our so much loved bird, the researches all over the years, more ornithology info about it, suggestion of books, and 3 images. One is the cute dodo above, and the other two are:  Facsimile of Savery’s figure of the Dodo in his picture of the Fall of Adam in the Royal Gallery, Berlin and a dodo image from The dodo and its kindred by A.G.Melville (1848).

Dodo in the Desciclopédia

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Desciclopedia: dodo

The dodo bird was in the main page of Desciclopédia, the Portuguese version of Uncyclopedia (a funny, and not trustful for sure, version of Wikipedia). It says: “December 1st – Dodô, endangered.”

Dodo from desciclopediaThere is no article for the dodo bird, just the main page for the word Dodô, which says about the dodo bird: Pássaro Dodô, um pombo anabolizado já extinto e ninguém se importa com ele, porque era feio e cagava pra caramba. (“Dodo bird, an anabolized extinct pigeon and nobody cares about him, because he was ugly and he used to s**t a lot.”)

Not nice or good enough, however the Uncyclopedia has an article about the Dodo bird, following the same funny-bizarre line:

Thought to be extinct, the Dodo was one of the most vicious bird ever to walk the face of the earth. When the first european settlers came to the Mauritius, they brought along with them livestocks like pigs, chicken and dogs. The pigs was quickly to find the dodo bird’s eggs to be very tasty.

This prompted the Dodo Attack of 1598 that killed all of the settler’s livestock but one chicken. Which was then auctioned and sold to Oscar Wilde’s great great grandfather for $5. The nutrition from that one chicken singlehandedly brought him back from the brink of death. Starving, the first settlers were then resorted to cannibalism, and ate their colleagues in this order: Teachers, pianists then peasants. The officials were spared to coordinate the killings.

When the next ship arrived in Mauritania, they were quickly besieged by the settlers, and were quickly defeated. They were up for the boilers until the captain suggested that the settlers hunt the dodo birds instead. It prompted the D’oh D’oh Act of 1601. In which the captain of the ship HMS Mauritanian Death was appointed leader of the settler and was given the task to eliminate the threat of the Dodo.

The Empire Strikes Back under the leadership of the captain, whose name was lost to the ages but the nickname Dundee. Unbeknownst to him, the dodos, who walks on land most of the time owns a secret X-Wing capabilities to fly of in a moment’s notice and divebombs any direct offensive the Empire’s men execute. The first and second waves resulted in 75% loss of troops on the HMS Mauritanian Death. Captain Dundee then escaped to the ship along with all the rest of the settlers and resorted to carpet bombing the mauritanian island, killing most of the dodo’s population, and decimating a large part of the forest which was then used by the French to conduct nuclear weapons demonstrations to sell bombs to the Arabs in 1975. Captain Dundee then commanding the roasting of every dodo beast left on the island and stuffed their skins with wood fillings. Two is known to survive to modern times. One of them was destroyed in order to conduct a DNA test. The only stuffed dodo left in this world was stolen in December 2005 from the Louvre and has not yet been recovered.

Today, the dodos are regarded to be extinct. And because the D’oh D’oh Act of 1601 is still in effect across the British empire, every found dodos are to be extinguished promptly to preserve the unity of the empire.

And that’s not the whole article, there are more if you are brave enough to read it.

Le Dodo

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Le Dodo

Espèces emblématiques disparues par la faute de l’homme (Emblematic species extinct because of men): French article about Le Dodo (The Dodo).

Dodo Skeleton Found on Island

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Dodo Skeleton Found on Island

Dodo Skeleton Found on Island, May Yield Extinct Bird’s DNA by Kate Ravilious for National Geographic News:

Adventurers exploring a cave on an island in the Indian Ocean have discovered the most complete and well-preserved dodo skeleton ever found, scientists reported yesterday.

Researchers say the find would likely yield the first useful samples of the extinct, flightless bird’s DNA.

If you follow this blog, you know I already linked to the same news on the posts Bones Could Yield Dodo DNA and Flightless Fred has scientists in raptures. However, that National Geographic article is good, as usual, and there more additional information on it.

Until now most of the information about dodos has come from scattered bone fragments. Only one other full skeleton was ever unearthed—in the 1860s—but it has been of limited scientific value, because the person who discovered it never revealed where it was found.

“We need to know about the location to understand the ecology of the dodo,” said Kenneth Rijsdijk, a scientist with Geological Survey of the Netherlands, who plans to study the environment in which the newfound bird was discovered.

The site of the new dodo skeleton and the layout of its bones has been precisely recorded, making the find already very useful to scientists, he added.

“We can take soil samples and discover how and why the animal got there,” Rijskijk said.

What’s more, the location of the new skeleton makes it much more likely to yield DNA, said Beth Shapiro, a geneticist from Oxford University who studies dodo remains. […]

The cave site of the new skeleton is likely to provide the best hope of a decent DNA sample because the bones will not have been exposed to sunlight and the temperature was fairly constant, she added.

“We are really excited about the new find and hope it might tell us much more about the behavior and appearance of dodos,” Shapiro said.

PS.: Photograph from Reuters, inset illustration from Getty Images.

Dodo has become an icon

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Expatica, 11 May 2007: Dodo has become an icon. But you already knew that, don’t you?

The dodo has become an international icon for species that have died out because of human activity.

Fifty dodo experts met in Leiden on Friday to share their still scarce information on the mysterious animal. Dutch scientists found leg and toe bones from a dodo, part of a hip bone, vertebrae and a beak in 2005.

“The fascination for the dodo stems from that fact that so few people saw the bird,” says palaeontologist Anwar Janoo, the only Mauritian at the conference.

Update: the article was removed.

Birds arrived comparatively late

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

From the PBS article about evolution by Gareth Huw Davies The Life of Birds: Birds arrived comparatively late.

The DodoBirds living on small islands are highly vulnerable to extinction. Many have become flightless in the absence of natural predators, and when man arrived, with rats, cats and other animals, the birds stand little chance. Over 90% of birds that have become extinct during historical times lived on islands.

The dodo is the tragic symbol of bird extermination. This large, flightless, turkey-sized pigeon lived on the tropical island of Mauritius. A fruit-eater, it had little reason to move fast or fly. It was easy prey for man the hunter.

The sailor Volquard Iversen, shipwrecked on Mauritius for 5 days in 1662, gave the last eye witness account. He wrote: “They were larger than geese but not able to fly. Instead of wings they had small flaps, but they could run very fast.” Not fast enough, though, for human hunters, Only fossils and a few preserved specimens remain to remind us of this tragic species.

Flightless Fred has scientists in raptures

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Dodo picture from

After Bones Could Yield Dodo DNA, the same news at The remains of a dodo found in a cave beneath bamboo and tea plantations in Mauritius offer the best chance yet to learn about the extinct flightless bird, a scientist has said.

Update: Unfortunately the link to the news was removed.

Dodo article in Russian

Monday, January 29th, 2007

My knowledge of Russian is null, but I think that this article talks about dodos and their life in Mauritius. The translator didn’t help, so let’s post the pretty images of dodos.

Dodo engraving

White dodo


Update: Guess what? The page was removed. I’m glad I saved those images.

The Dodo – an Extinct Bird

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

The Dodo - an Extinct BirdBBC h2g2 article – The Dodo – an Extinct Bird:

In the age of exploration man discovered wonderful creatures on every beach on which he landed. One of the creatures they found was the Dodo. We never found out what the bird was good for, as in our attempts to exploit them we managed to kill them all. This is a sad story; let’s not let it happen again.

The Dodo

The bird was known by the common name ‘Dodo’, plural either ‘Dodos’ or ‘Dodoes’, alternative name ‘Dronte’. Perhaps the name is derived from:

* Dod-aarsen: stupid ass
* Dodors: from dot-ors, meaning tuft of feathers-tail
* Dodars: silly birds
* Dodoor: sluggard

Also used were:

* Walgvogel or Walghvogel: nauseating bird (these are all Dutch- and German-based names)
* Doudo or Doudou: foolish and simple, simpleton (as the Portuguese and Spanish visitors called them) […]

How to Prepare a Dodo for Dinner

Trying to find the perfect recipe we killed the last bird.

1. Pluck the feathers.
2. Put it in a water-filled pan and let it boil for a day – or two for older birds.
3. Then use a sharp knife to get some of the meat from the bones.
4. Serve with some fruits (mango) to make it taste like something. Keep a few toothpicks to clean your teeth after every bite.
5. Instead of only eating the flesh, you can also make a nice soup with the boiling water.
6. Give the remainder (probably most of the animal) to the dogs.

What else to serve these hungry, hardworking sailors?

If not eaten, dodos were just happy running or staggering around their island4. With their specialised long, crooked, and hooked beak, they ate fruits, seeds or nuts. Dodos seemed to eat stones and rocks as well, and perhaps some fruits de mer5. They did not have any natural enemies. The nests in which they laid their eggs were just clearings on the ground that were covered with grass. The female dodo laid a single, big egg hidden deep in the forest. She would use her large beak to defend herself and her chick.

Dodo dinner? Well, the records show dodos didn’t taste like chicken, so the dodo dinner looks more a joke that a real recipe (the description too). Anyway, there are more about dodos in the article.

Dodo bird verdict

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Alice and the Dodo

Dodo bird verdict: Wikipedia article about the Dodo verdict at Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – “At last the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’” (chapter3) – and psychology.

In psychological literature, Saul Rosenzweig (1936) coined this phrase the “Dodo bird verdict”, and it has been extensively referred to in subsequent literature as a consequence of the ‘common factor’ theory. This is the theory that the specific techniques that are applied in different types and schools of psychotherapy serve a very limited purpose (such as a shared myth to believe in), and that most of the positive effect that is gained from psychotherapy is due to factors that the schools have in common, namely the therapeutic effect of having a relationship with a therapist who is warm, respectful and friendly.

[…] The “Dodo bird verdict” is especially important because policymakers have to decide on the usefulness of investing in the diversity of psychotherapies that exist. The debate has been very much heated since its re-inception in 1975 with a publication of Lester Luborsky. Depending on what the outcome of the debate is held to be, many jobs and also the healthcare for many individuals are at stake.