While debated hotly by scientists, the dodo became extinct for three reasons. First, before humans arrived on Mauritius – an island in the Indian Ocean where the dodos had evolved – they had no natural predators and as such were easy to hunt by travellers looking for a food supply. Second, the humans who landed on Mauritius brought with them numerous foreign animals not native to the island such as pigs, dogs, and macaques, which are reported to have frequently raided the dodo’s nests to take their young. Finally, as more and more of Mauritius became colonised so that its natural resources could be harvested and exported, habitat loss severely reduced the territory in which dodos could successfully live and reproduce.
Those festive times are only just around the corner, so make sure you’ve got a few brilliant facts lined up to impress friends and relatives