Gravity's Rainbow

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What We Killed Thursday


Fitchia mangarevensis was endemic to Tarvai in the Gambier islands of French Polynesia. It was described by science in the 20s and studied through the 50s, but hasn’t been seen since. The Gambier islands have a long history of human environmental destruction.  While the Gambier islands once had a population of thousands, they can now only support a few hundred.  Many Tarvai villages are abandoned or very small – the wikipedia article is a bit unclear, but there may only be 3 residents of the entire island.



There isn’t a lot of information about Fitchia, though research articles in the 50s suggested it could be useful for learning about vascular and floral evolution.  Considering that F. mangarevensis was key to that research and at least 3 of 8 known Fitchia species are threatened, we’ll probably never be able to answer all of our questions about the evolution of this genus.

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