Why died out Dodo?
Nakhodka at Mauritius immediately attributed to the discharge of sensational: scientists managed to detect the mass burial of Mauritius Dreams on the island, or Dodo. Prior to this, specialists were only a miraculously surviving fragments of the only copy of the legendary bird that fell into Europe. And they have relatively dodo big plans.
Birds whose remains found on the island in the Indian Ocean, died from spontaneous cataclysms – Typhins and floods. And it happened long before the appearance of people on Mauritius. Although before they were entirely imposed on them for the disappearance of DRONTs.
The latest evidence of the existence of Dodo belongs to 1681. And the century earlier, sailboats from Europe began to arrive to the shores of Mauritius, located east of Madagascar. Then the sailors and saw for the first time a strange bird more than the usual turkey in two or three times. She was completely not afraid of people and trustfully approached them. She was called Dodo.
Dodo did not have natural enemies on Mauritius. Therefore, Mauritius DRONT – such a name gave the bird already scientists – felt in complete safety, slowly ran, did not scare loud sounds. But, most importantly, he belonged to the bird’s tribe, but could not fly. His little wings – just a few feathers – and comical tail-buns could not raise the cargo body into the air. True, penguins and ostriches do not fly either, but they either swim well, or quickly run. Dream either could not do anything else.
Captains of sailboats, people experienced, practical and without sublimation, decided to diversify meat dodo a meager ship diet. But it turned out that dononts of tasteless – so at least they claimed the sailors. They have grumbled, for which the answer was received: Nobody promised, but the meat-cooked meat-cooked meat, and recently ran around the island.
It was not difficult to get a defenseless Dodo, not even need to catch up: he struck with a stick or a stone and provided himself with freshest kilograms for 20-25. Sailors even arranged "competition", the highest score dodo, although only three birds was enough to feed the entire crew sailboat.
About the origin of the name "Dodo" There are different hypothesis. It was believed, for example, that the word derives from the Portuguese duodo – stupid, stupid, stupid. Considering the comic view and carelessness of these birds, it is necessary to pay tribute to the discovers of Mauritius: they chose the appropriate name.
Tried to bring Dodo to Europe, so that there to show live an amazing bird, but nothing of this venture went out. "As soon as the drone falls in the unfortunate, they begin to cry, stubbornly refuse any food until they die", – writes the French traveler Francois Lega, who visited Mauritius in the late XVII century.
It was then that the English artist Benjamin Harry, watching the living Dronom, made his sketches from nature. This manuscript is kept in the British Museum. And in 1693 Dodo first did not hit the list of animals inhabiting Mauritius, as it disappeared completely. Soon the locals forgotten about this bird – as if there was no Dream on the island.
Dodo’s sad story – a typical example of how the upcoming civilization destroys the whole types for the following years. Those donontov who survived from the extermination by man, finished pigs and dogs that were brought to the island of colonists. Purchased to Mauritius and ship rats from the values of sailing ships. Voracious rodents quickly dealt with bird eggs: careless dodo constructed nests directly on the ground, and the nest was only one egg.
So would dodo stayed in one row with other extinct and half-philantal birds, if not Lewis Carrol, who made him famous, making a character "Alice in Wonderland". Literary critics and biographers believe that in the image of the shabby, slow, harmless and trustful bird, Carrolo depicted himself.
These days attempts are made "revive" Dodo. Experiments are held in Oxford. It was there that, at the University Museum of the History of Nature, they found those remains that until recently the only material evidence of the existence of unusual birds. Paw, dried head and several bones Dodo survived a miracle. It turns out that there was a stuffed drone. The only bird managed to be alive to bring to England and the wonder for a long time showed for money to all curious. Then they made the scarecrow and placed in one of London museums.
By the middle of the 20th century, mole, bugs and time so praised so much that the Museum director decided to burn him. At the last moment, one of the employees broke his head and one foot from the bird, which preserved the best. The rest was destroyed. True, recently, Dutch scientists announced that they found a whole skeleton Dodo: now he is exhibited in the Museum of the Natural History of the city of Leiden.
Researchers in Oxford managed to extract DNA from Fabric fragments Dodo. However, their colleagues who carefully follow the actions of the Oxford Group, say that this project, like many others aimed at recreating the extinct species, is doomed to failure.
The fact is that simply get DNA is to solve only a thousandth share of the task. According to the American paleontologist Jack Horner, "Problems arise at every step. The ecosystem has fundamentally changed from the moment when this type is extinct. Moreover, these changes are invisible – to kill the revived creature can simply air, the composition of which is changing every decade", believes a scientist.
It was established that Dodo’s ancestors were migratory pigeons that broke away from the flocks and "stuck" on the most beautiful Muskarent Islands, including in Mauritius. It was one and a half million years ago. It turns out that the ancestors of Dodo could perform long flights above the ocean. Carefree life in the earthly paradise led ultimately to the death of the whole type. Giant flutter drone – this is a branch of far-seated specialization, which became a dead end in the evolution of birds.
Director of the Wildlife Foundation Mauritius Karl Jones sure: "We need to return lost views in any way to fill the emptiness left in the ecosystem".
"First of all, we must try to understand the world in which Dodo lived before people, – believes one of the leading experts of the project for the reconstruction of the Mauritius Dream Kenneth Ridge. – We are interested in what the ecosystem was part of which were Dodo. What was the way of life of the colonists, who began to master the territory of the island, and how they influenced the environment. Who knows, maybe really dodo began to die long before the appearance of people in Mauritius", – suggests a scientist. Be that as it may, the blame for the disappearance of the Mauritian Dream to shoot with people is premature.
The famous English writer-naturalist and defender of rare animals Gerald Darrel, creating his zoo on the island of Jersey and the trust of the protection of wild animals, chose Dodo as an emblem. Who knows, maybe in the future, Mauritius DRONT will be a symbol of salvation of those who are on the verge of extinction of animals and birds, which can still be saved.