Dodo was a flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It was a flightless member of the pigeon family, which weighed up to 23 kg. Portuguese became the first Europeans to discover the dodo in the year 1500. By 1680 it had been driven to extinction by humans who hunted it for flesh and later the dogs, pigs, rats, and monkeys introduced by Europeans to Mauritius.
Our present day knowledge of what the dodo looked like is based on several sources like the diaries and writings of the sailors and captains who landed on Mauritius in the 16th and17th century, drawings from the few humans who were able to witness them alive and the few fossils excavated from the island, which are kept at the British Museum, and a foot and a beak which are preserved at Oxford. The dodo was a large, plump bird covered in soft, grey feathers, with a plume of white at its tail. It had small wings that were far too weak to ever lift the dodo off the ground, dubbed the bird "dodo" which meant simpleton in Portuguese tongue (“doudo”).
Today the idiom "as dead as a dodo" means undoubtedly dead and "to go the way of the dodo" means to become extinct or obsolete, or to become a thing of the past.
The Dodo is a lesson in extinction. It is hoped that the lesson of the Dodo can help prevent similar extinctions, and aid us in preserving the diversity of life on earth.
The SS above was released along with 4 stamps set on 22 June 2007 by Mauritius. The above SS is painted by Julian Pender Hume, a Paleontologist by profession. The 4 stamps are also art work of different artist's view of the dodo.