October 11, 2004

Dodo Birds


I love the movie Ice Age, but it'd be nice if people didn't think it was historically accurate.

Twice now I've been in conversations with people who used this cartoon to back up their stance on something. The first time was when someone said Stonehenge was in North America...although she wasn't sure exactly where. "Maybe Canada." When I asked why she thought that, she said that in the movie, the animals go past both Stonehenge and Yellowstone. Oookay. But Stonehenge is in England. "Then why would they have that in the movie?" Dunno. "Maybe they went over the land bridge in Alaska." Yeah, maybe. But I think that'd be an awful long way to walk.

Then today the subject of dodo birds came up, and someone said they were wiped out by the last ice age.


Dodo birds went extinct because humans killed them off in the 1600s.

"But they went extinct in that movie Ice Age." Yeah, and Wile E. Coyote always survived his falls to the canyon floor. What's your point? Besides, dodo birds lived on a remote island. "They did?" Yes, that's why people thought they were dumb...they hadn't known any predators or humans, so they were very trusting when humans came to their island. "Oh."

To learn more about dodoes, go here. As noted on the page, there are no dodo specimens around anymore. One European man stuffed his dodo when it died, but the bird's remains were not maintained very well. It made its way to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, but was thrown away in 1755. The curator saved only the head and a foot.

Around this time, the existence of the dodo was believed to be the same as the existence of the unicorn--pure fantasy. It wasn't until 1863, when George Clark found skeletal remains of dodoes, that their existence was accepted once more.

Posted by Jennifer at October 11, 2004 01:22 PM


Aah, this is what Jennifer's History & Stuff is all about.
Great post! :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 11, 2004 08:59 PM

you suck at wrighting

Posted by: katie at November 11, 2004 06:05 PM

Do you know the meaning of the word "irony", sweetpea?

Posted by: Jennifer at November 11, 2004 07:42 PM