Many creatures have become extinct thoughout earth history, but while different kinds of Stock Dinosaurs
are usually selected for prehistoric settings, there are a variety of much more recent extinct species. One of these creatures is the dodo bird, which is kind of the poster-child when someone thinks of extinct birdies.
The dodo was a large flightless bird of the pigeon family solely found on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. After Mauritius (then without human inhabitation) had been claimed by the Dutch c. 1600, Dutch ships very customarily replenished their food supplies with dodos and dodo eggs. Predators brought in by man (i.e. rats, pigs and monkeys) took care of the rest and thus, the species had become extinct by the end of the 17th century. All our knowledge about dodos is based on descriptions, images, and a handful of remains collected by scientists before the species disappeared.
Dodos supposedly were slow and fat, giving them a somewhat goofy appearance[[note]]Although it is not sure if this was a natural state or if this image is based on chronical overfeeding of captive birds.[[/note]], and together with their inability to fly or, more generally, to avoid extinction, the idea that dodos must have been "stupid"
somewhat naturally arose.
Factor in that "dodo" is an Inherently Funny Word
, and it follows that dodos in fiction tend to be comedic dimbulbs whose inability to fly or survive often leads to jokes at their expense. They can sometimes act as Cloudcuckoolanders
or The Fool
, or in any other way display suicidal behavior. In short, dodos are rarely to be taken seriously; although in the light of the real fate of the dodo species, the comedy is always a bit on the black
Due to being extinct, they also sometimes appear alongside animals that died out a much longer time ago in pre-historic environments.
[[folder:Film - Animated]]
- Ice Age has a group of dodos that are preparing for the Ice Age. However, at the point they're introduced they've only gathered three melons, one of which the main trio need to feed the human baby. They end up killing themselves through their own stupidity.
- Disney's Alice in Wonderland has The Dodo, who is a Composite Character of the original Dodo, and another character named Pat.
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists has Polly, a Dodo bird that acts as Pirate Captains' Pirate Parrot. She becomes quite important to the films plot when The Pirate Captain sells her to Queen Victoria. Smarter than most examples, aside from not knowing she's a dodo rather than a parrot.
[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
- Sly Cooper has a dodo guard type that appears in the fourth installment, that attacks by swinging its' beak, throwing rocks, and rolling eggs. Each time it lands a hit thats not a counter-attack, it does a Happy Dance.
- Pocket God has dodo birds as one of the animals featured, and are one of the few animals incapable of eating the Pygmies.
- Breath of Fire III has a Dodo bird as part of its Boss Bonanza.
- Looney Tunes had Yoyo Dodo in one of their most famous cartoons, "Porky in Wackyland", who looked nothing like the real thing (being green with a little red umbrella on his head), and is a Reality Warper of the highest order.
- The Phineas and Ferb intro theme talks about "finding a dodo bird" and has the accompanying animation of the two brothers finding one on top of a tall mountain. They have yet to actually find one in an episode though.