Back when I was a kid, people used to joke about the “dodo bird.” Was it real?
Yes, this fowl (pronounced “dough-dough”) actually lived. But it’s been extinct since the 1680’s, which makes it officially, sincerely lifeless.
It’s no wonder the dodo didn’t survive. Its wings were too small to fly, and its legs too short to run. Predators found the bird easier to catch than a head cold.
The little animal lived on islands in the Indian Ocean. It had a body like a turkey, a thick beak, and feet and tail feathers sorta like a duck.
On the islands, dodos faced constant threats by hogs and monkeys. Nothing’s worse than being chased by monkeys, especially if they’re riding wild, hungry pigs.
Curious explorers took a specimen to Europe around 1640. Unfortunately, the other dodos didn’t make the trip, and croaked faster than a chorus of bullfrogs.
We can learn three things from the dodo:
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- Birds of a feather flock together. Birds who are deceased get remembered the least.
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. A bird in the museum is worth a look.
- If it looks like a turkey and walks like a duck, it might be a dodo…and that’s bad luck.
Rix Quinn is a former magazine publisher who works as an independent biographer and broadcaster.