The Mouse, Endemic Rodents and Human Settlement in the Canary Islands

Diogenes 55 (2):65 - 75 (2008)

Abstract
This article postulates a method of determining the date of human settlement in the Canary Islands by establishing when species of mice, which are commensal with human beings and hence in all likelihood migrated with them, arrived in the archipelago. At the same time, the extinction of several species of endemic rodents may also correlate with such arrivals. The study establishes the outer limits for the arrival of the mouse species, between the 5th millennium BCE and the 15th century CE, but, while indicative archaeological evidence indicates human settlement was established by around the middle of the 1st millennium BCE, the absence of conclusive dating of fossil mice remains leaves a definitive conclusion for the start of such settlement still open
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DOI 10.1177/0392192108090740
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