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Title: Origin, Dispersal Routes, and Geographic Distribution of Rattus exulans, with Special Reference to New Zealand
Authors: Roberts, Mere
Issue Date: Apr-1991
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Roberts M. 1991. Origin, dispersal routes, and geographic distribution of Rattus exulans, with special reference to New Zealand. Pac Sci 45(2): 123-130.
Abstract: Current anthropological theory and archaeological evidence have
led to a reappraisal of the hypothesized route of dispersal of the Polynesian rat,
Rattus exulans, through the Pacific and to New Zealand. This commensal rodent
seems to have entered the Fiji-Tonga-Samoa region by way of Melanesia, in
association with the people of the Lapita cultural complex. The hypothesized
migrations of those people and hence presumably of R. exulans throughout Near
and Remote Oceania are presented here, along with a brief review of this rat's
history and current distribution in New Zealand, the last settled and southernmost
landmass in its range.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 45, Number 2, 1991

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