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Arrival of humans wiped out Hawaiian crabs

The arrival of the first Polynesian settlers to the islands of Hawaii wiped out native land crabs about 1,000 years ago.

Early settlers brought animals such as pigs and rats – wiping the crabs out.

The researchers describe this as the first documented extinction of a crab in the human era.

“They’d already vanished from the islands by the time the Europeans got there – nobody’s ever seen one alive,” said Gustav Paulay, curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

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Story: Richard Black | Photo: Gustav Paulay

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