Story: Pacific migrations

Fossil remains (1st of 3)

Fossil remains

In Near Oceania, Lapita people found abundant food sources including marsupials, reptiles, birds, wild plants and fish. Small bands of people lived in relative ease in this region for tens of thousands of years. Lapita middens reveal that they ate land birds in the Ha‘apai group of Tonga, and in New Caledonia and Fiji, a terrestrial crocodile (Volia athollandersoni). Fossil remains of the crocodile are shown here. Birds on these islands were quickly consumed and some species became extinct. On the islands of Remote Oceania edible seeds, tubers and fruit were scarce. Lapita groups carried domestic animals and horticultural crops with them as they colonised new islands.

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Palaeofaunal Surveys
Photograph by Mike Neill and T. H. Worthy

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin, 'Pacific migrations - Into Remote Oceania: Lapita people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 August 2022)

Story by Geoff Irwin, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017