Scientists Finally Know The Real Reason Dodo Birds Went Extinct

If there’s one thing most people know about
the dodo bird, it’s that they were dumb. If they had been human, they would have been
the kind of person who changes pants while driving. Yes, legend has it, this creature was only
really ever a danger to itself, a true poster child for The Darwin Awards…at least, that’s
the story we’ve been fed. But is it true? Turns out, the whole story that the dumb dodo
got itself hunted to extinction by being so stupid may have been a big load of doodoo. Leon Claessens, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology
and Evolution at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University, believes the Dutch sailors who
first encountered the bird in 1598 didn’t actually hunt the birds to extinction, though
the sailors likely had an indirect role in the demise of the species. Previously, it was believed the birds were
fat, and were hunted for food. But in the dense jungles of their native Mauritius,
the bird would have been much leaner than previously thought, and therefore, not as
appetizing of a meal. Further, these jungles would have also made
it much harder for the few hundred sailors to catch the birds, regardless of how unafraid
the dodos were of human beings. Claessens believes the real problem was the
rats and other animals that would have landed with the sailors. These animals would have been able to multiply
quickly in an unrestricted habitat, and would have feasted on dodo eggs and outcompeted
them for food, a double-extinction whammy. And then the triple whammy hit: rapid habitat
loss. The island of Mauritius was not initially
considered very valuable; just a place for ships to stop over. Some even thought the island was cursed due
to a large amount of shipwrecks in the area. That all changed when the Dutch realized they
could export the island’s ebony wood for sale, which became the island’s primary economic
activity. Not long after, settlers were turning the
once-wild island into a big agricultural plantation, leading to heavy deforestation and loss of
native plant species. The forest that provided natural protection
for the dodo bird gave way to sugar cane fields, making the birds oversized sitting ducks for
any predator who came along, as the dodos literally had no fight or flight reflex. Lack of flight also made dodos ill-suited
to surviving natural disasters. Evidence has been found that even before human
settlement, many of the birds died in flash floods brought on by cyclones. Once they lost the natural protection of their
sheltered forests, they became even more vulnerable. The entry for “dodo” in the Oxford English
Dictionary describes something that is “no longer effective, valid, or interesting,”
and the origin of the word comes from the Portuguese doudou, translating to “simpleton.” It’s a sad legacy for what was once a beautiful,
totally innocent creature. Beyond their reputation for stupidity, dodos
are a symbol of how quickly and profoundly humans can impact an environment and drive
a species to extinction. Until we can clone them, dodos are gone forever,
and the best thing we can do about it is to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. It only took a hundred years to wipe out the
dodo, and while exact dates of extinction vary, most believe the dodo was gone by the
1660s, with other reports claiming they lasted on nearby islands until the 1690s. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t
matter much, because either way the bird, and just about every trace of it, is gone
forever. All we’ve got are a few records and sketches
from sailors, and one or two shoddily stuffed birds in museums. We’re hardly even sure what color they were. Most paintings from the time show dodos with
white feathers, but firsthand accounts describe them with gray to black plumage. Heck, we didn’t even know they had kneecaps
until 2014, after a 3D scan of the last remaining skeleton revealed them. So have we learned our lesson? Not yet, it seems: in another hundred years,
it’s estimated that 25 percent of all bird species will be extinct in the wild unless
we take big steps to clean up our act. If not, we’ll be the real dodos. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
animals are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


  1. Grunge

    November 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Do you think cloning extinct animals is a good idea, or should we learn our lesson from Jurassic Park?

  2. Nicholas DiMauro

    November 12, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Before the phrase “tastes like chicken” because popular, it used to be “tastes like dodo”

  3. H M

    November 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    1:07 Cool how the rats have their own landing craft!!!

  4. Dino Di Lucido

    November 12, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Music so loud you can't ever hear the fucking narration. Nice job. Well done.

  5. WolraadWoltemade 1652

    November 12, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Ah the Dutch 🥇 ♥ 🇿🇦 ♥ 🥇

  6. Preston Thugman

    November 12, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    I think the music could have been a bit louder , thanks. Ugh. 😑😒 Barely understood anything you've said. Jeez.

  7. Life's Good

    November 12, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    The only thing dumb in nature is the human being.

  8. Troy Adamson

    November 13, 2019 at 12:54 am

    The Democrats impeached them to extinction.

  9. Spike Wyvern Zilla

    November 13, 2019 at 12:55 am

    If the Dodo comes back it will evolve into kulu ya ku then bash humans over the heads with rocks

  10. Jay Lay

    November 13, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Humans ain’t 💩

  11. sailcat9

    November 13, 2019 at 1:30 am

    What would be the point of bringing back a dodo (or a mammoth, woolly rhino, ground sloth, etc,) that would justify the effort? The animals would be pretty much solitary examples of their species, there would be little or no genetic diversity among the animals if more than one was cloned, and scientists probably wouldn't produce a stable breeding population because of the cost and difficulty involved thereby leaving any successful clones to die out meaning their species would go extinct all over again. It sounds like there would be little information gained in exchange for what would be a monumental man-made tragedy. So what's the point? Just curious.

  12. Mark Allen

    November 13, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Dodo birds discovered humans, realized all life on earth was doomed and committed suicide….

  13. Gerdie Albers

    November 13, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Well congratulations….! NICE DISTRACTION….!!

  14. SmokeMiraJuana

    November 13, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Why is this so sad.

  15. Stephen Peter

    November 13, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Cloning animals that we may have drove to extinction, we should clone. Dinosaurs we need to make sure we know all the possible consequences before we try them.

  16. Blue Crossroads

    November 13, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Just exactly what information did these birds have on the Clintons?

  17. C Web

    November 13, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Until well clone them?!?!?!🤔

  18. Isaac Lerma

    November 13, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Humans are sadly the Apex Predators of the world we always invade & destroy Mother Nature when she gives us so much.

  19. roof top cat

    November 13, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Try taunting an ostrich with a stick, you'll get your ass shed off you.

  20. Shell knight

    November 13, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Dodo: what a beautiful day! Oh? Who is this tall bird?
    Man: mmm~ chiken~

    Evolution: ah, where'd all the birds go!!

  21. Carri A

    November 13, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Background noise too loud!!!!! Can't watch.

  22. Victor Bonilla

    November 13, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Dinosaurs then = Birds now…Dodo Birds then = Nancy Pelosi now..

  23. Wolf Thorn

    November 13, 2019 at 5:25 am

    we should clone them so we could eat them.
    I get a little bored of only chicken all the time.

  24. littlebit

    November 13, 2019 at 6:18 am

    People dont learn. We are locus

  25. beatrix the great

    November 13, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Poor things, humans destroyed their habitats then called them stupid

  26. Sunny Dae

    November 13, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Human beings always have to screw things up for every other living thing

  27. Thando Khuse

    November 13, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Nah,, the dodo was killed off by Europeans, don't give us this propaganda!

  28. biggavelle11

    November 13, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Cmon ppl we all know the flintstones are responsible

  29. jopageri1964

    November 13, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Interesting assessment. A tad speculative, but reasonable. The only major flaw in this video is the incredibly irritating and inappropriate badly thought out soundtrack. What the Hell was that?

  30. Robert Westerman

    November 13, 2019 at 11:42 am

    They can’t be extinct , I work with 3 of them . ?

  31. Dman Law

    November 13, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    I got as far as one minute and 47 seconds before nearly lost my mind listening to the background music. What a shame I really wanted to learn something but not at the cost of my sanity. For that it gets a thumbs down and my negative comment.

  32. samson Delilah

    November 13, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Dodo is delicious food

  33. joey kill

    November 13, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    There go's Our last female

  34. Classic American

    November 13, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Joe did it.

  35. STUPID jante

    November 13, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    #teamtrees Philippines

  36. Michael Szczys

    November 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Too bad they didn’t save some. Maybe they were tasty and could have been raised like turkeys and chickens

  37. Israel Moreno

    November 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    The Mexican’t people ate em all till there was no more ………..

  38. Island Fusion

    November 13, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    I like the music in this video, what is it?

  39. Michael Horton

    November 13, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    They aren’t extinct. They became the gop by devolving.

  40. msw51995

    November 14, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Trump did it

  41. les allan

    November 14, 2019 at 12:01 am

    They never developed how to whistle due to their enormous beak subsequently were unable to communicate with each other,well that's just as good an explanation you'll get from the official bollocks from this or that university

  42. msw51995

    November 14, 2019 at 12:03 am

    The sailer sleighed the butts of the squaws

  43. struggler 87

    November 14, 2019 at 12:11 am

    We didn't do it

  44. GoldenState

    November 14, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Like many animals, they didn't have the instinct to fear humans yet.

  45. Matthew Jacobi

    November 14, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Poor DoDos

  46. endou mamoro

    November 14, 2019 at 1:24 am

    White man saves the day AGAIN🥰

  47. Jeffro 56

    November 14, 2019 at 1:31 am

    AOC said it was cow farts and climate change

  48. G1 Grimlock

    November 14, 2019 at 1:55 am

    The humans eating Dodo because taste like chicken

  49. kurt robinson

    November 14, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Man sits on the dawn of a new age. Clone extinct species, develop AI with the programming to kill. If movies and TV tell us anything, guess who's going to be extinct soon.

  50. raven11356

    November 14, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Hey! I've changed my pants while driving.

  51. Blaze

    November 14, 2019 at 4:29 am

    2:43 "Well yes, but actually no"

  52. Quietfox

    November 14, 2019 at 4:39 am

    So they were just retarded right?

  53. r juttemeijer

    November 14, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Nice story, but please kill the stupid and disturbing music.

  54. Stanley Jedrzejczyk

    November 14, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Dodos were the Democrat voting Base of the Avian Species…

  55. Stanley Jedrzejczyk

    November 14, 2019 at 5:33 am

    The REAL reason Dodo's became extinct is their extensive involvement with Hillary Clinton…

  56. 50magnum805

    November 14, 2019 at 8:17 am

    They weren’t stupid they just didn’t have any predators so they lacked fear

  57. Grimgore The Bastard

    November 14, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Humans are the reason for their extinction

  58. david mills

    November 14, 2019 at 8:36 am

    if you go to the island of the dodo you will see a kfd sign on a old hut

  59. GuderII

    November 14, 2019 at 9:42 am

    No no no. dodo extinct coz some square try to hide some peanut


  60. Friend Chicken

    November 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

    The Dodo is a Big Pigeon.

  61. Libnitez Bandz

    November 14, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Dodos are so weird and cute.

  62. Critter Cosner

    November 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Talks about ebony wood, shows a White Oak falling…

  63. keahistight

    November 14, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Music is fail

  64. JokingPat

    November 14, 2019 at 2:57 pm

  65. Morgan8378

    November 14, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    This isn't new

  66. Sal Ortiz

    November 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    The bird did not become extinct out of ignorance it became extinct due to fucking people being stupid

  67. Ricky Scott

    November 14, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    All scientist do is lie about everything. Question were you there? I rest my case!

  68. Sidottu

    November 14, 2019 at 5:49 pm


  69. Hikari Azuriel

    November 14, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    The background music was annoying! It doesn't fit to video!

  70. Russell Roesner

    November 14, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Did you know that of the 100s of islands in FIJI there are only a couple islands left without cats and guess what? Islands with cats have less than 10% of original bird population FIJI has more extinct bird species than any other country….due to cats and rats. Look it up!

  71. King Rothschild

    November 14, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Sad sad sad

  72. L U S T

    November 14, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Honestly. Nature would be the most beautfiful without humans

  73. Sheba Lee

    November 14, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Why so much interest in this bird?

  74. Eva Ries

    November 14, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    What has irked me for a long time is that humans (mammals) have constantly looked down their primate snouts pretending that birds, and this species particularly, was/is "stupid."

    Avians are in fact superior to most mammal species in a variety of ways, INCLUDING intelligence.

    And the truth, which finally surfaces at some point, is still an indictment against the invasive, destructive behavior of our species collectively. There has been NO region of the planet where humans have been which has not experienced habitat destruction and persecution of other animal species.

    The notion that this species of bird was "too dumb to survive" is the babbling of an insecure ape who strips and consumes the world around it, and then makes up imbecilic excuses borne of utter egotistical ignorance to rationalize away its crimes against other species.

    Have we learned anything? Will we learn anything? How many more species will be exterminated in a holocaust of the planet's biota until we do?

  75. LookYourShoe'sUntied

    November 14, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    doo doo

  76. WildBill Fromoverthehill

    November 15, 2019 at 12:05 am

    They discovered the Stellar Sea Cow in 1741. And they ate the last one in 1768.

  77. Ralph Garcia

    November 15, 2019 at 12:10 am

    because of humans

  78. Chris Jameson’s channel 1

    November 15, 2019 at 12:32 am

    The Clintons did it

  79. Charles Foster

    November 15, 2019 at 1:25 am

    I wonder how all the thousands of creatures went extinct before humans…just a thought. Oh and maybe that’s what y’all “progressives” need to do….THINK

  80. eddie_taco 23

    November 15, 2019 at 2:28 am

    That's just sad 😢

  81. Bom Trown

    November 15, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Those computer dodos look plenty plump.

  82. Bom Trown

    November 15, 2019 at 2:33 am

    and how do you know all dodos were "innocent"?

  83. Radka Hunter

    November 15, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Yeah!!…..we are….unfortunately…..the dodos!!…..humans destroying there own home!!….😬🥴

  84. Monado6

    November 15, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Dodos weren't important to the ecosystem

  85. Bawsah Koopa 2.0

    November 15, 2019 at 5:25 am

    They are not dumb.
    What a fucking insult,i'm not animalist,but it's so stupid trying to criticise a nature animal.
    Imagine if you live in a exotic closed space,and your body is "strange" and you must survuve the circumstances.
    Poor Dodo…. Stay in the Heaven of extinct animals.

  86. theresia2012

    November 15, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Valerian and a cities of 1000 planets

  87. Alex Sandoval

    November 15, 2019 at 5:25 am

    This video would have been way better without that gay ass song in the background .

  88. RUMORS

    November 15, 2019 at 7:04 am

    I wish this bird species still exist tho, kinda cute.
    I would like to pet 1 or 2 or 3…or 4

  89. Tracie Walker

    November 15, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Interesting 😊 Lose the annoying music though, it's distracting.

  90. Francis Raffaut

    November 15, 2019 at 7:32 am

    It was us who bought the rats along with cats and dogs to my Mums land of Mauritius, so it was humans who killed off the Dodo. My Dad is from Rodrigues again the Solitare and the Long Neck Turtle we're taken out by us. We need to learn from our mistakes take responsibility for what we have done and stop trying to find excuses through science that we don't need to hold any guilt for our destruction✌

  91. Father Gabriel Stokes

    November 15, 2019 at 7:37 am

    I have a Dodo in my closet. Damn it, there's scientists on their way to my house now. I may not be heard of again…

  92. The Siamese

    November 15, 2019 at 7:40 am

    No no theyre developed to "americans"

  93. ギルガメシュ

    November 15, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Hold on i've seen a dodo before..

  94. Pop Culture Crew News & Reviews

    November 15, 2019 at 10:20 am

    The real reason the dodo went extinct. TASTED LIKE CHICKEN

  95. 0m3n

    November 15, 2019 at 10:28 am

    That's messed up. We've screwed over so many species

  96. Datu Rajiev Indal

    November 15, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Just like the Kiwi, they didn't have predators. That's why they didn't have to fear for their life all the time.

  97. Datu Rajiev Indal

    November 15, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Mistakes from our ancestors? No way. It's your ancestors' mistakes.
    My ancestors valued the balance of nature and the life of animals. Fight me.

  98. destroyer of minecraft

    November 15, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Dodo bird was one of the smartest birds you idiot!

  99. Tina McLaughlin

    November 15, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Humans are the Dodos for being the plunderer of God's green earth.

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