BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Although nearly 400 years have passed since someone saw a living dodo bird, a recent study has proved once and for all that dodo birds were not that stupid. In fact, according to this study, dodos possessed the same intelligence as pigeons.
We usually refer to someone who is slow as being stupid as a dodo bird. For a very long time, both the scientific community and the general population have viewed the dodo bird as being the most absent-minded creature to have ever roamed the Earth.
This attitude towards the poor extinct bird probably comes from the stories told by the first sailors who reached the Mauritius Islands in the early 1500s. According to these tales, the dodos were so stupid that upon seeing the ship and the crew they rushed towards the ship’s deck in order to satisfy their curiosity.
Obviously, the former dumb birds were no match for the rowdy and hungry crew, who made short work of them. In fact, as history notes, the last living wild dodo bird was seen on the Mauritius Island in 1662. In just a brief 100-year interval, man’s quenchless thirst for conquest drove an entire species of birds towards extinction.
And, according to this study, man was not the only culprit involved in the decimation of the dodo population. The same record spoke about new species of predators being introduced to the Islands by the conquerors.
This is all we know so far about the bird’s tragic ending: that they were stupid and the whole species went extinct after the humans casually hunt them down. What we don’t know is that the bird was actually very smart, and according to the latest research they possessed the same brain power as the modern pigeon.
Although they are more major differences between the two bird species, it would seem that their brain had roughly the same sizes. In terms of difference, while the pigeons favor sight for other senses, the dodo had a knack for picking up hard to trace odors.
In fact, the study, performed by Eugenia Gold, a recent graduate at of the American Museum of Natural Sciences, reveals that the bird had an unusual olfactory organ, unlike its distant cousins.
Given these unusual apparatus, the dodo was actually capable of picking up the faintest smell from miles away. And it seems that this sense came in handy, as the bygone bird was unable to fly.
In order to perform various research on this bird, Gold, along with a team of scientists, made use of PET scanner. By comparing a perfectly preserved dodo skull with pigeon skulls, the team observed that in term of cubic capacity, there is no difference between the dodo and the modern pigeon.
And we do know for a fact that pigeons are much smarter than they look. In fact, before radio technology and the telegraph, pigeons were used in order to send messages. Carrier pigeons they were called, and they have been regarded as the hope of soldiers and the delight of mistresses who awaited a sign from their lovers.
The study concluded that the dodos possessed the same intelligence as pigeons, thus debunking the century-old myth that the dodo is the dumbest bird on the planet.