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extinctions and administrivia



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rather than deal with it at the moment, I'm going to forward the
message.  My apologies to Derek Tearne; I'll send you mail
when I get the problem fixed.  Incidentally, on the topic that Derek
is writing about (see below) I also recommend:

 Author:         Diamond, Jared M.
 Title:          The third chimpanzee : the evolution and future of the human
                   animal / Jared Diamond.
 Edition:        1st ed.
 Published:      New York, NY : HarperCollins, c1992.
 Description:    viii, 407 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

It describes the effect that humans have had and are having on the
extinctions of other animals.  

--- message forwarded from Derek Tearne.  If you wish -- MR
--- to respond directly to him, he can be reached at: -- MR
---      derek@nezsdc.fujitsu.co.nz                   -- MR


> [By the way, there *is* at least one fairly solid case for
> aboriginal peoples driving something to extinction - the
> Moas on New Zealand, by the Maori]

There are several examples of aboriginal peoples driving creatures 
to extinction.  A couple of Australian examples would be Diprondontidae
(a giant Wallaby) , Palorchestes (a very ugly animal indeed) and 
Megalania prisca (a large monitor).

The most chilling aspect of the extinction of the Moa by the Maori is that
the day the last Moa eggs were eaten (during a feast for the birth 
of a chiefs son) was recorded and remembered.  The morning of the moa 
eggs.  No moa's were seen after that day, less than 500 years ago.

Harpagornis moorei, Haasts eagle, arguably the worlds largest Raptor was 
also brought to extinction by the Maori, possibly due to the loss of it's 
main prey item, the Moa.  

Not to mention the flightless goose Cnemiornis calcitrans...

For a reasonably well researched book on recent extinctions ostensibly
at the hands of man read

Extinct Species of the World:
Jean-Christophe Balouet
ISBN 1 85238 100 0
Publ: Charles Letts.