Reef musicnote rat or Melomys rubicola, which in the past were the only mammals inhabiting the territory of the Great barrier reef, has completely disappeared from the face of the Earth, thus becoming the first representatives of this class, the main reason for the disappearance of which was provoked by people global warming.
The only place on Earth inhabited by extinct rodents were small coral reef, bramble Cay area 340 of 150 meters, located on the territory of Australia in the Torres Strait. This plot of land is located not more than three meters above sea level, writes The Guardian.
For the first time Melomys rubicola was discovered by European explorers in 1845, and at that time their population was very numerous. Soon, however, the sailors began to shoot the “big rat” from bows, and it was one of the reasons why rodents by 1978 only a few hundred and continue to become smaller. The last time reef mozaichist rat saw in 2009, but only a few years later the status of this species was officially changed from “finding critically endangered” to “extinct”.
Experts from the University of Queensland, in the course of his investigation, to make sure the complete disappearance of a species, expressed the belief that “a decisive blow” on extinct mammals caused not hunters, and climate change — the global sea level rises, and some times the island was flooded, causing some animals could just drown and others will not survive in an inevitably changing at the same conditions.
However, the fact that the last Melomys rubicola died from flooding and not from arrows, not remove responsibility from people for their disappearance: according to experts, it is human activity that has contributed to an increase in the rate of global warming that led to the extinction of Melomys rubicola.
However small the hope that on Earth there is still not discovered populations of reef mozaichist rats or their closest “relatives” there. The researchers plan to look for such populations in New Guinea, where, according to one existing version, the rodents in the past and got on the Great barrier reef.Related posts: