A Prehistoric, Noncultural Vertebrate Assemblage from Tutuila, American Samoa

Date
2004-10
Authors
Steadman, David W.
Pregill, Gregory K.
Journal Title
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Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press
Abstract
Ana Pe'ape'a is a small cave on the southern shore of Tutuila, American Samoa. Excavations at Ana Pe'ape'a yielded 13,600+ bones of small vertebrates, dominated (>95%) by the nonnative Pacific Rat, Rattus exulans. Represented in the owl-derived bone deposit are two species that no longer occur on Tutuila, the Pacific Boa (Candoia bibroni) and the Sooty Crake (Porzana tabuensis). Based on bone counts, C. bibroni was the second most common species at the site. The third most common, the Sheath-tailed Bat (Emballonura semicaudata), is extremely rare on Tutuila today. Compared with bone records in nearby Tonga, we believe that the deposit at Ana Pe'ape'a, with a radiocarbon date of A.D. 445 to 640, is at least 1,000 yr too young to be dominated by extinct species.
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Citation
Steadman DW, Pregill GK. 2004. A prehistoric, noncultural vertebrate assemblage from Tutuila, American Samoa. Pac Sci 58(4): 615-624.
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