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Re: Vegavis gen. nov. - new anseriform in today's Nature
At 12:50 PM 1/24/2005, John Bois wrote:
If we're talking about island extinctions, humans are involved only
indirectly. The dirty work is done by introduced mammals (usually).
Well, I think this is an unwarranted generalization. Certainly rats and
other introduced mammals are responsible for a number of island
extinctions. However, we know that many island endemics perished after the
arrival of humans but before the arrival of western scientists to record
the details, so we don't really know exactly what did them in - but as many
of these were large and/or flightless forms direct hunting seems not
unlikely (moas are perhaps the best example). As for "historical"
extinctions, avian diseases are probably responsible for most losses on
Hawaii, and of course the Brown Tree Snake has wiped out several species on
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