Rats of Christmas Island were Wiped Out by Rats from SS Hindustan

by OldSailor on November 6, 2008



Here is an interesting news during this Chinese Year of the Rat.

Researchers of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.,of US have revealed that the entire Christmas Island native rats were wiped out due to “hyperdisease conditions” caused by a pathogen that led to the rats’ extinction. This is in contrast to Rat Island of Alaska where sea birds face extinction due to rats.

christmas_island How this happened ?

The extinction was caused by the rats that came from S.S.Hindustan in 1899. After the Hindustan’s arrival, the native island rats were infected and died. There after the native rats were never seen again. Now the researchers have found out that the extinction of native rats was by the rats from the ship that carried a protozoan known as Trypanosoma lewisi.

Read rest of this interesting story from Discovery Channel News.

To know more about Old Dominion University, view video clips here.

Also view here an amazing video clip about life at Christmas Island.

Posts in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

Six Easy Steps to Enter Confined Spaces in a Ship Explained

How to Prevent Norovirus or Norwalk Disease in Cruise Ships

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