Is it possible that the dodo bird has been unfairly affiliated with stupidity all this time? New research released by the American Museum of Natural History says signs point to “yes.”
The team conducting the study included Eugenia Gold, lead author of the paper and a recent graduate of the museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School.
Gold and team uncovered the details by examining a well-preserved dodo bird skull. They found the dodo’s brain size to be similar to a pigeon’s. In addition, the team found an enlarged olfactory bulb, which is responsible for sense of smell.
As to how the birds got their reputation for being dumb, Gold had some insight as well. When humans landed on Mauritius, where they lived, they weren’t afraid of them and subsequently became many a sailor’s dinner. Less than 100 years after being discovered, dodos were extinct.
“Today, they are almost exclusively known for becoming extinct,” said Gold. “And I think that’s why we’ve given them this reputation of being dumb.”