To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
Drawing Of a Dodo
Landscape with birds
A Dodo
Dodo reconstruction (Raphus cucullatus) reflecting new research at Oxford University Museum of Natural History
The dodo was a medium-large sized flightless bird that was discovered on the Island of Mauritius in the 1590s and was declared extinct less than a century later, in 1681. Despite the turkey-sized body of the dodo, it is thought to have been most closely related to smaller birds such as doves and pigeons.

The dodo inhabited the tropical forests on the tiny island of Mauritius that is situated in the Indian Ocean. Like the neighbouring island of Madagascar, Mauritius broke away from the African continent when the land first split, causing it's wildlife to be extremely unique and the dodo is no exception.

The dodo had a large body, stubby wings, a small, curved tail, short legs, and a large beak. The feathers of the dodo were grey, black and white in colour and the large curved beak of the dodo is one of it's most distinctive features.

The dodo is a large sized bird that adapted to a life without large ground-dwelling predators, which led to the dodo to behave quite unusually for a bird. Despite having wings, the dodo was unable to fly as they were quite too small and weak to support the rounded body of the dodo. The dodo was also known to have been fearless of the European invaders which ultimately led to the demise of the species.

The dodo ate ripe fruit that fell to the ground, eating the fruit of the Tambalacoque tree (which is often called the dodo tree). This long-living tree is now in danger of extinction since it depended on the dodo for its own reproduction; its seed can only germinate (sprout) after going through the digestive system of the dodo (the seed has a very thick coating).

In it's native forests on the island of Mauritius, the dodo had no natural predators until humans landed at the end of the 16th century. But it wasn't just the humans that hunted this friendly and docile bird, the dodo along with their nests where hunted by the animals that humans brought with them including dogs, cats and monkeys.

Due to a lack of natural predators, the dodo evolved to making it's nest on the ground where the female dodo would lay a single egg. The incubation period of the dodo egg is estimated to be between 4 and 6 weeks, when the dodo chick would hatch and be reared by it's mother before becoming independent as it grew older.

The dodo was probably thriving on the tiny, safe-haven of Mauritius before it was taken over by European settlers who hunted and ate the dodo, exploiting it's naturally fearless nature. The animals brought along to the island often ransacked the dodo's vulnerable nests, leading to the extinction of the entire species in just over 80 years of human contact.

Dodo Comments (18)


"Hope scientists bring them back 1 day"


"theirs only one dodo bird on earth the reason y any one new was because its been hiding behind shrubs, brushes, bushes, and ferns, the reason y I no was because I study them and I am only in 6th grade. "


"great news for my homework!"

Showing 3 of 18 comments.

Show More Comments

Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:

Dodo Translations

Czech Cesky
Dronte mauricijský
Danish Dansk
German Deutsch
English English
Spanish Español
French Français
Raphus cucullatus
Croatian Hrvatski
Italian Italiano
Hebrew עִבְרִית
Dutch Nederlands
Hungarian Magyar
Japanese 日本語
Norwegian Norsk
Polish Polski
Portuguese Português
Swedish Svenska
Turkish Türkçe

Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Dodo article.
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of Dodo article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

Dodo Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Raphus Cucullatus
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
1m (3ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
20kg (44lbs)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
10 - 30 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
When the entire species has disappeared from Earth...
mid-late 17th century
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Grey, Black, White, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Tambalacoque Fruit
The specific area where the animal lives...
Tropical forest
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Tambalacoque Fruit
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Humans, Cats, Dogs
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Hooked beak and unable to fly