The Pacific rat (kiore) is not native to New Zealand and could only have arrived here with humans. In 1996 scientist Richard Holdaway obtained 15 Pacific rat dates, by radiocarbon dating, that were significantly earlier than the accepted date of Polynesian settlement of 1250–1300. He dated some rat bones at up to nearly 2,000 years of age (50–150 AD). Most subsequent research has not supported this finding.
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Photograph by Dick Veitch
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