(Mirror Daily, United States) – Yes, their population was greatly affected and they disappeared in 400 years ago, but who said Dodo birds were stupid?
The dodo bird is somewhat of a stupidity icon in popular culture because they lacked a certain ability to survive the human race. But that doesn’t make them any more stupid than the Pinta Island tortoise, the Tasmanian tiger, the West African black rhinoceros or even the Wooly Mammoth.
Recent studies have concluded that the dodo bird was as smart as a pigeon, and we know just how smart pigeons are. The Mauritius Island bird once flourished in the tropical climate. But the haters only considered its lack of surviving skills, but forgot about human intervention and, of course, human expeditions whose only purpose was to hunt down the friendly winged animal.
In order to set things straight and clear the dodo’s name from the shame it has been enveloped in, researchers studied the extinct bird’s skull and compared it to those belonging to birds that are still alive.
The conclusion is that the person who said dodo birds were stupid was terribly wrong. Scientists proved they were at least as quick-witted as a common pigeon. And if you ever got your bagel stolen by the winged menace you know they’re not stupid at all.
The scientists that conducted the research were trying to shed some light on a subject that has been clouded more with prejudice, myths and tales, than actual scientific proof. There were little solid theories about the bird’s existence and far less scientific facts.
The stories of the dodo’s stupidity, oddity, extinction, and obsolescence were actually just that, stories. In order to prove them wrong, the team of researchers studied a very well-preserved dodo skull from London’s Museum of National History.
According to the CT scans, the bird’s brain size was proportionate with that of its body, making the dodo neither stupid nor smart. It was the normal, average proportion, the same that can be found in almost all bird species. But they also found something rather interesting, the part of the brain that was responsible for smelling was enlarged. This is a very unusual characteristic for a bird, especially one believed to be void of any self-preservation instincts.
The theory that the team emitted for this strange anatomical particularity is that land birds must use their sense of smell in order to capture their prey, an improved visual capacity being more important for birds who hunt while flying.
The Dodo bird’s reputation is saved. Humans and their destructive nature, plus the predators that were introduced in the Mauritius Islands when humans first came there were the main reason for the bird’s extinction.
Who said dodo birds were stupid and that was the only reason for their extinction? Well, whoever said it forgot to include the human factor in the equation. And the dodo is not the only collateral damage of the human’s need of owning, hunting, using and discarding.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org