Overrun by rabbits!

(Darwin 1897, 117) tells of the release of some rabbit babies from a sailing ship in the 1400’s which basically “took over” a small island.

“In 1418 or 1419, J. Gonzalez Zarco happened to have a female rabbit on board which had produced young during the voyage, and he turned them out on the island (of Porto Santo).  These animals soon increased so rapidly, that they became a nuisance, and actually caused the abandonment of the settlement.”  It is said in the same account in Darwin’s book, that prior to the introduction of the rabbits there had been no other mammals or predators on the island.  Sounds like exponential growth to me!

Reminds me of a cute Star Trek episode!

Resources:

Malthusianism

Bibliography:

Darwin, CharlesThe variation of animals and plants under domestication, Volume I.  New York:  D. Appleton and Company, 1897.

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