Contrary to popular belief, the dodo was not a stupid or lazy bird. After all, it lived in a predator-free environment where food was plentiful on the ground. Why bother flying when you can simply stroll about at a leisurely pace? But what was by all accounts the sweet life for the dodo came to an abrupt end in the1600s, when European explorers landed on Mauritius, the island in the Indian Ocean where the dodo made its home. After their arrival, it would be only a few short years before the animal was hunted to extinction, primarily because it was a much-needed source of meat for weary sailors. In addition, the pigs, dogs and rats that inevitably accompanied sailing ships made short work of dodo eggs, which were all too accessible from their nests on the ground. The dodo never stood a chance.