National Geographic : 1943 Oct
Why the Dodo Bird is extinct W EN THE PORTUGUESE landed on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean during the 16th century, they found a strange, ungainly creature with disagreeable colorings. Although incapable of flight, it was a bird; and although somewhat larger than a turkey, it was related to the pigeon family. This discovery was confirmed by later explorers, one of whom, an Emanuel Altham, wrote this note accompanying a specimen he sent back to Europe in 1628: "You shall receive-a strange fowle: which I had at the Iland Mauritius called by ye Portingalls a Do Do." And, in 1638, Sir. T. Herbert wrote, "Here and no where else, that ever I could see or heare of, is generated the Dodo, a Portuguize name it is, and has reference to her simpleness." But the Dodo is no more. He exists only in a phrase, and there as the ultimate in oblivion: "as extinct as the Dodo." It seems that around 1644 colonizers brought dogs and swine to the island. These thrived and multiplied and soon extermi nated the Dodo. This may not have been due so much to the fighting ability of the animals as to the docility of the Dodo and the fact that it laid its solitary egg in a clump of grass on the ground where it could easily be trampled or devoured. The poor Dodo could neither fight, flee, nor lay its eggs out of reach. The last report of a live Dodo followed shortly. Man, too, has been unable to adapt himself to the new hazards such as the automobile and other mechanical devices. When he comes in contact with either, it is a losing battle; he gets injured, sometimes fatally. But luckily for man, along with these mechan ical inventions came another, the invention of insurance. So that today, man need not suffer the financial losses always attendant upon accident, fire, and the other unpredictable mishaps which occur all too frequently. There are so many forms of insurance protection, each designed for some specific purpose, that they can be applied only by a specialist in insurance, such as the trained repre sentatives of The Travelers. The person who has not in some manner been benefited directly or indirectly by the institution of insurance is as scarce as the Dodo itself. MORAL: Insure in The Travelers. All forms of insurance. The Travelers Insurance Company, The Travelers Indemnity Company, The Travelers Fire Insurance Company, Hartford, Connecticut.