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“Just beyond the chain-link fence and the radio tower is another one story building. There is a large antenna, and a barking mutt leashed to a cable that’s strung from a tree to the building. The front door appears to be locked. There is no light on inside; no one comes in or out. But someone has been here. The dog, after all, must be fed.”
A Trillion Frames Per Second
Like many animals that evolved in isolation from significant predators, the Dodo was entirely fearless of humans. This fearlessness along with its inability to fly made the Dodo easy prey for humans. Although some scattered reports describe mass killings of Dodos for ship provisions, archaeological investigations have found scant evidence of human predation. Bones of at least two Dodos were found in caves at Baie du Cap, which sheltered fugitive slaves and convicts in the 17th century, and were not easily accessible to Dodos due to being isolated in high, broken terrain. The human population on Mauritius never exceeded 50 people in the 17th century, on an island of 1,860 km2, but they introduced other animals, including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques, which plundered the Dodo nests, and competed for the limited food resources. At the same time, humans destroyed the Dodo’s habitat forests; the impact these introduced animals, especially the pigs and macaques, had on the Dodo population is currently considered as more severe than the impact of hunting.