The rat's tale

Pat Shipman

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

The archaeology of Remote Oceania is a perfect example of document discovery. The deforestation of Rapa Nui has become an icon of human folly and ecocide, despite recent challenges to this idea. Prior to human-arrival, bats were the only indigenous mammals on New Zealand or the other islands of Remote Oceania. The kiore arrived in Polynesia with humans as a highly successful stowaway, like the Norwegian rat more familiar to Europeans and Americans. The remains of at-least 6,000 moas show how skillful and systematic the moa-hunters were. Urged to look for evidence on South Island, Wilmshurst added Anderson and avian paleontologist Trevor Worthy from the University of Adelaide to her team for a three-year project that used a two-prong approach. The 48 gnawed-seeds they dated were all more recent than A.D. 1250. Another 48 intact or bird-broken seeds ranged in age from about 2000 B.C. to about A.D. 1800.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages455-457
Number of pages3
Volume96
No6
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

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Rat
Oceania
Deforestation
Hunters
Archaeology
Mammals
Adelaide
Folly
Birds
Rapa Nui
Polynesia
Icon
New Zealand

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Shipman, Pat. / The rat's tale. In: American Scientist. 2008 ; Vol. 96, No. 6. pp. 455-457.
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Shipman, P 2008, 'The rat's tale' American Scientist, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 455-457. https://doi.org/10.1511/2008.75.455

The rat's tale. / Shipman, Pat.

In: American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 6, 01.11.2008, p. 455-457.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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