Search: dodo bird name
Why: Mummy and Daddy got me this lovely octopus charm from the Dodo collection by Pomellato, named after their first charm (over on the left there):
*The "D." is for diamond.
Answer: It's up for debate!
- It may be related to the Dutch word dodaars ("knot-ass"), a water bird known in English as the Little Grebe or Dabchick. Those birds have similar feathers on the hind end and are clumsy walkers, like dodos.
- It may be an onomatopoeic approximation of the bird's call, a two-note pigeony sound like "doo-doo" (lol).
The word "dodo" (as in, "Idiot! Don't you know it's day?!") has been around longer than the bird.
"Dodo" has been part of the English language since at least 1628, and the Dutch are not thought to have reached Mauritius before 1638. "Dodo" comes from Portuguese doudo (more commonly doido) meaning "fool," or, as an adjective, "crazy." The Portuguese word may itself be a loanword from Old English (cp. English "dolt").Whatever. That thing was over 3 feet tall and weighed like 45 lbs.
Source: New World Encyclopedia, Wikipedia
The More You Know: It was believed that the loss of the dodo bird directly caused the near extinction of the tambalacocque, or dodo tree (there are only 13 left, all over 300 years old). One botanist theorized that the dodo tree's seeds would only germinate after passing through the digestive system of the dodo. To help with the tree's survival, he force fed tambalacocque seeds to 17 turkeys. The results were unclear.
Now, scientists think the decline of the tree may be due to competition with introduced plants and because they're getting eaten by introduced pigs and crab-eating Macaques - who I happened to be reading about just yesterday because the boy monkeys groom the girl monkeys in exchange for sex.