The Polynesian rat, which the original settlers brought with them, played a very important role in the disappearance of the Rapanui palm. Although some may believe that rats played a major role in the degradation of the forest, only less than 10% of palm nuts contained teeth marks from rats. The remains of palm stumps in different places indicate that humans caused the trees to fall because in large areas, the stumps were cut efficiently. The clearance of the palms to make the settlements, led to their extinction almost 350 years ago.
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