The earliest known descriptions and illustration of the Dodo was given in 1601 by Dutch travelers who have been to Mauritius in 1598. Less than 100 years later the Dodo was already extinct. Its last accepted sighting was in 1662.
Even though the rareness of the dodo was reported already in the 17th century, its extinction was not recognized until the 19th century. Only in 1865 when the first Dodo fossils were excavated the Dodo became well known and since Lewis Carroll gave the Dodo a character role in his “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, since this poem the Dodo is really famous worldwide.
Height: About 100 cm, but females were smaller than males.
Body weight: Up to 23 kg, but it estimated that wild birds weighted 10.6-21.1 kg, depending on the sex and the season. During the wet season the birds fattened to survive the dry season.
Dimensions of the beak: 23 cm long with a hooked point. The strong beak is used for defense.
Nest and clutch size: Only 1 egg on a grass bed on the ground
Habitat: Forests in the drier coastal area of South and West Mauritius
Extinction: Since the end of the 17th century. Although some reports describe a mass killing of dodos as food for the sailors, the destruction of its forest habitat and the impact of introduced animals like pigs and crab-eating macaques are the main factor for the Dodo’s extinction.