On the Rat Trail in Near Oceania: Applying the Commensal Model to the Question of the Lapita Colonization

Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith, M Hingston, Glenn Summerhayes, Judith Robins, Howard A Ross, Mike D. Hendy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Presented here are the most recent results of our studies of Ratus exulans, one of the main commensal animals transported across the Pacific by Lapita peoples and their descendants. We sampled several locations in Near Oceania to determine distribution of R. exulans mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes in the region. We also obtained data regarding distribution of other introduced Rattus species to several islands in the Bismarck Archipelago. Our results suggest that there were multiple introductions of R. exulans to the region, which may suggest a more complex history for Lapita populations in Near Oceania.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)465-475
    JournalPacific Science: a quarterly devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region
    Volume63
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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