What caused the extinction of Meiolania on Lord Howe Island?

Oct 2015
6
Boone, NC
#1
Since there's no evidence of people having once lived on Lord Howe Island before its European discovery (according to Wikipedia), what caused the turtle's extinction there? Just curious.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,065
Connecticut
#2
I understand Meiolania which lived there were much smaller than Australian ones, no doubt a reflection of scanty resources--probably the fatal problem. Lord Howe Island isn't much over 14 square km in extent. There may have been a lean period due to drought or, on a place that small, a tsunami might've blown them all away.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,065
Connecticut
#4
I think the best explanation is, native seafarers came to Lord Howe island long ago but, finding it too small for settlement, just cleaned out its turtles to provide provisions, prior to leaving. A brief stay may explain lack of evidence of their arrival. There's little doubt humans were responsible for Meiolaniid extinctions generally and I can't think of a better explanation for LHI as well as elsewhere.