As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Penguins Rapidly Conquered New Zealand After Humans Ate Rivals

by Becky Oskin, Senior Writer | March 03, 2015 06:20pm ET

Bones left behind by a penguin that was eaten to extinction reveal that a remarkably fast turnover in species occurred after Polynesian seafarers wiped out New Zealand's weird wildlife, a new study reports.

Archaeological evidence has already confirmed the first humans to arrive in New Zealand treated the islands like a giant buffet. Seals and sea lions were on the menu, but the main course was giant birds. With no land mammals present in the area before humans arrived, birds ruled the islands, with a huge predatory eagle at the top of the food chain.

The first Pacific Islanders arrived in the late 13th century, and within 200 years, about 40 percent of the islands' bird species had vanished, studies show. Rats traveling with the settlers drove the extinction of smaller bird species, while human hunters vanquished the megafauna, including the nine species of large, flightless moa.

No comments:

Post a comment