The island quickly became a stopover for ships engaged in the spice trade.
Weighing up to 50 pounds, the dodo bird was a welcome source of fresh meat for the sailors. Later, when the Dutch used the island as a penal colony, pigs and monkeys were brought to the island along with the convicts.
They would soon die, and the species would be extinct.
Was it just a coincidence that the tree had stopped reproducing 300 years ago and that the dodo bird had become extinct 300 years ago? It turns out that the dodo bird ate the fruit of this tree, and it was only by passing through the dodo’s digestive system that the seeds became active and could grow.
Recently a scientist noticed that a certain species of tree was becoming quite rare on Mauritius.
In fact, he noticed that all 13 of the remaining trees of this species were about 300 years old. Since the average life span of this tree was about 300 years, the last members of the species were extremely old.
Many of the ships that came to Mauritius also had uninvited rats aboard, some of which escaped onto the island.
Before humans and other mammals arrived the dodo bird had little to fear from predators.
Natural Forces Over the course of history many species have become extinct. Species may become extinct because of changes in climate (i.e.
the ice age), competition with other species, a reduced food supply, or combinations of all of these.