Why do we DO what we DO? Do Do.
More than 300 years since the last Dodo walked the Earth, there’s still so much we don’t know about the bird. They most likely got their very start by a mishap. A large group of misguided pigeons, landed on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius a long time ago. To give you some perspective, this is located about 700 miles east of Madagascar.
Sometimes, a wrong turn can be good I suppose. The pigeons prospered in this new environment. And then, they evolved. Over the next hundreds of thousands of years, they morphed their way into being the flightless, three-foot-tall, 50-pound Dodo Bird. That is, quite literally, a Big Bird.
The Dodo. We humans didn’t see the thing until the 16th Century. Some Dutch people were out tooling around in a big boat, when the landed on Mauritius in 1598. Settling, they called it. And. That was the first “transcribed” sighting. So after all that time, the Dodos were happy on their little island. And then, less than 75 years later, the Dodo was completely extinct.
The last confirmed sighting was in 1662.
So why so “gone” so fast? I will give you one guess. Elmer-Freaking-Fudd.
Yep. Until the Dutch landed, the Dodo led a pretty charmed life. They just wobbled around the island, laying one egg at a time, raising their kid. Eating nuts and berries. There were no predatory mammals, OR reptiles, OR even large insects there. Those Dodos had absolutely no need to evolve any natural defenses. They just lived there with everyone else, in peace.
In fact, Dodo Birds were so gosh-darn trusting that they would actually waddle up to armed Dutch settlers. Waddled right up. They were completely unaware that these strange-human-being-things intended to kill and eat them. Or to turn them into little Happy Meals for their imported cats, dogs and monkeys.
Time and again, the Dutch indiscriminately clubbed them to death, for their meat. Over and over. Until one day, in 1662, the last Dodo was dead.
I cannot begin to tell you how completely sad this entire story makes me. We took their world away.
There may be a slim chance we can bring them back.
De-extinction is a scientific program by which might allow us to reintroduce extinct species into the wild. And I have read that enough “soft tissue” is on “file” for this to be possible for the Dodo. But I’ve also read that several other species are in the “cue” ahead of the bird. Like the Wooly Mammoth. And some kind of Frog, but, I can’t remember its name right now. I am not sure I agree with this proposal, of bringing back ancient extinctions. But the science is there.
So those Dodo Birds are gone. Historically, they have gotten a bad wrap, in cartoons, and other portrayals. They are depicted as being completely stupid. Dodos have even furnished a “nickname” for the idiot.
But those Dodos were not dumb at all.
Simply enough. They were trusting.
I’m not sure what else to say about this. Other than two things. We humans are the dumb ones. You know, extinction is a natural phenomenon. It is. And, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year.
But guess what we humans are doing? Elmer-Freaking-Fudd. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day. That’s inexcusable. And we are doing things like cutting funding for “protected land” and Environmental Protection Agencies. We are thick, like a brick.
And the other part of this. Trusting is a good thing. It can be crucial, in certain circumstances. But there are times all around us, when it may be more important, more urgent, more productive, for all of us to be wary. Or maybe wide-awake is a better word.
I wish we could trust like a Dodo. But that might push us right into extinction too.
“Top 15 Things Money Can’t Buy
Time. Happiness. Inner Peace. Integrity. Love. Character. Manners. Health. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Common sense. Dignity.”
― Roy T. Bennett
“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida
“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou