Rat fossils show that humans changed Polynesian islands immediately following their arrival
Rat fossils shed light on human impact on ecosystems - Earth science news

New techniques in isotope measurements have been used to assess what rats have eaten following human colonization of Polynesian islands. Rats came with humans some 2,000 years ago to the islands, either as a food source or as hidden stowaway on board of vessels. By reconstructing the rats’ diet over the last 2,000 years, researchers found that human activity on the islands led to deforestation, development of agriculture, and species extinction. The study highlights the extraordinary degree to which people in the past were able to modify ecosystems.

Read the full story: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Scientific publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA