The traditional image of the dodo is of a fat, clumsy bird, but Andrew Kitchener, a biologist at the Royal Museum of Scotland, argues that the birds were actually lithe and athletic (Kitchener 1993).
The dodo's significance as one of the best-known extinct animals and its singular appearance has led to its widespread use in literature and popular culture.
Analysis of jaguar mitochondrial DNA has dated the species lineage to between 280,000 and 510,000 years ago, later than suggested by fossil records (Eizirik et al.
Given the island ecology, with no predators and plenty of food, the dodo's ancestor would not need to fly, and eventually, it is speculated, the flightless Dodo evolved.
Scientists believe dodos evolved from a bird capable of flying that landed on Mauritius.
The dodo had been in existence for many thousands, perhaps millions of years, but was wiped out in a matter of decades.
The last known dodo was killed less than a century after the species' discovery, but some controversy surrounds the exact extinction date of the Dodo.
According to The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, "dodo" comes from Portuguese doudo (more commonly doido currently) meaning "fool", or, as an adjective, "crazy."
The dodo rampant appears on the Coat of Arms of Mauritius.
Dodos were large birds, weighing about 23 kg (50 pounds).
Extinction is a natural part of the history of life, and some researchers speculate that natural causes provided the tipping point for the dodo's extinction.
The origin of the word "dodo" is controversial.
Like penguins, dodos did not use their short wings to fly.
The generally accepted date of extinction is 1662, when a shipwrecked sailer named Volkert Evertsz (or Evertszoon) reported seeing a small population of dodos on an islet off Mauritius (Cheke 1987).
The source of the dodo's extinction is not certain, but researchers believe it may have been a natural disaster or human impact, or some combination of the two.
The most complete remains of a single dodo are a head and foot, on display at the Oxford Museum of Natural History.
A dodo egg is on display at the East London[ Museum in South Africa.
The dodo, now extinct, lived on fruit and nested on the ground.
Little Grebes are extant, or still living, but they resemble the dodo in that they have similar feathers on the hind end and are also clumsy walkers.