Skip to main content

Pleistocene survivors and Holocene extinctions: the giant rats from Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia)

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • Excavations at Liang Bua Cave yielded a large amount of micromammal remains, the major part of which are murids, and some can be referred to three different species of giant rats. Whilst Papagomys armandvillei is still living on Flores, the other two species, Papagomys theodorverhoeveni and Spelaeomys florensis went extinct late during the Holocene. In this paper, the fossil record of these species at Liang Bua Cave is discussed. These giant murids are a clear example of insular gigantism, and can be seen as end members of the Island Rule. Opposition against the general applicability of this ‘rule’ is mainly based on a scale perspective. The study of giant rats at Liang Bua cave provides new insights in the understanding of human behavior, diet and environment. A strong acme in the number of giant rats in the cave during the Holocene may represent a taphonomical artifact, resulting from Palaeolithic hunting activity.

Authors


  •   Locatelli, Elisa (external author)
  •   Awe Due, Rokus D. (external author)
  •   van den Bergh, Gerrit D.
  •   van den Hoek Ostende, L W. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Locatelli, E., Awe Due, R., Van Den Bergh, G. D. & Van Den Hoek Ostende, L. W. (2012). Pleistocene survivors and Holocene extinctions: the giant rats from Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia). Quaternary International, 281 (December 19), 47-57.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84868356025

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1054&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/55

Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 47

End Page


  • 57

Volume


  • 281

Issue


  • December 19

Abstract


  • Excavations at Liang Bua Cave yielded a large amount of micromammal remains, the major part of which are murids, and some can be referred to three different species of giant rats. Whilst Papagomys armandvillei is still living on Flores, the other two species, Papagomys theodorverhoeveni and Spelaeomys florensis went extinct late during the Holocene. In this paper, the fossil record of these species at Liang Bua Cave is discussed. These giant murids are a clear example of insular gigantism, and can be seen as end members of the Island Rule. Opposition against the general applicability of this ‘rule’ is mainly based on a scale perspective. The study of giant rats at Liang Bua cave provides new insights in the understanding of human behavior, diet and environment. A strong acme in the number of giant rats in the cave during the Holocene may represent a taphonomical artifact, resulting from Palaeolithic hunting activity.

Authors


  •   Locatelli, Elisa (external author)
  •   Awe Due, Rokus D. (external author)
  •   van den Bergh, Gerrit D.
  •   van den Hoek Ostende, L W. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Locatelli, E., Awe Due, R., Van Den Bergh, G. D. & Van Den Hoek Ostende, L. W. (2012). Pleistocene survivors and Holocene extinctions: the giant rats from Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia). Quaternary International, 281 (December 19), 47-57.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84868356025

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1054&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/55

Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 47

End Page


  • 57

Volume


  • 281

Issue


  • December 19