Hundreds of bones from extinct species such as the dodo and giant skink have been discovered at a swamp in Mauritius dating back 12, years. The swamp is so full of remains that they are totalling around per cubic metre, according to scientists excavating the area. Material found at the site also includes fossil plant seeds and pollen, which the team believes will help them build a picture of what the island was like before it was inhabited by humans. The decision to excavate the area was inspired by a remark from an report which said it was so full of extinct animal bones that one only needed to put a hand into the water to find them. The material found so far has been dated back 12, years, making the swamp at Mare la Chaux the oldest fossil site in the western Indian Ocean apart from Madagascar and Aldabra. The team plan to excavate the site for years to come and hope it will provide information which will help with assessing the impact of climate change and cyclone activity on the island. At least 2, bones have been found so far at the site, which has also been found to contain shells from several species of land and freshwater snail. The dodo species evolved from a flock of pigeons that landed on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
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The small island nation is already suffering its worst environmental disaster, but locals have woken to something out of a nightmare. A satellite image shows tugboats working to clear the MV Wakashio. More than a dozen dead dolphins have washed up on the beach in Mauritius after a ship ran aground last month, spilling more than tonnes of oil into the water.
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Mauritius is known for having one of the most diverse societies in the world. Credit: Miwok. This is the fourth article in the seven-part series Living In Translation about language and identity. They are guest edited by Nanjala Nyabola. I was 11 years old when I first found out that Mauritius is in Africa. I had been in the country for nearly four years, having been born in the UK to two Mauritian parents, when my geography teacher dropped this bombshell.
I knew so little of the continent and had only perceived it through the warped lens of the media, which portrayed it as dark, diseased and hopeless. How could I have been African all this time and not even known it? This, to me, is where the Mauritian dilemma begins: a crisis of identity, language and belonging. Next were the French. Then came the British. Through these periods, African, Indian and Chinese settlers were either brought over as indentured labour and slaves or came over to provide services for them.
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At least 24 dead dolphins wash up on Mauritius beach after oil spill
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Mauritians of Chinese origin , also known as Sino-Mauritians or Chinese Mauritians , are Mauritians who trace their ethnic ancestry to China. Like members of other communities on the island, some of the earliest Chinese in Mauritius arrived involuntarily, having been ” shanghaied ” from Sumatra in the s to work in Mauritius in a scheme hatched by the French admiral Charles Hector, comte d’Estaing ; however, they soon went on strike to protest their kidnapping.
Luckily for them, their refusal to work was not met by deadly force, but merely deportation back to Sumatra. Even after the British takeover of the island, migration continued unabated. The earliest migrants were largely Cantonese -speaking; but, later, Hakka -speakers from Meixian , further east in Canton modern day Guangdong , came to dominate numerically; as in other overseas Chinese communities, rivalry between Hakka and Cantonese became a common feature of the society.
Some members of the colonial government thought that further migration should be prohibited, but Governor John Pope Hennessy , recognising the role that Sino-Mauritians played in providing cheap goods to less well-off members of society, resisted the restrictionists’ lobbying. In the late 19th to early 20th century, Chinese men in Mauritius married Indian women due to both a lack of Chinese women and the higher numbers of Indian women on the island.
During the s, despite the continuous influx of immigrants, Mauritius’ Chinese population declined; Chinese traders, legally unable to purchase land in Mauritius, instead brought their relatives from China over to Mauritius. After training them for a few years to give them a handle on the business and to introduce them to life in a Western-ruled colonial society, the traders sent those relatives on their way, with capital and letters of introduction, to establish businesses in neighbouring countries.
‘It’s heartbreaking’: 25 dolphins wash up dead in Mauritius weeks after oil spill
The Indian Ocean Company has released a second batch of Penny Blue XO Rum, a single-estate Mauritian rum blending spirit matured in former cognac, whisky and bourbon barrels. The rum is distilled at Medine, the oldest operational distillery on Mauritius, dating back to The oldest rum in this batch is 11 years old, the youngest just five years old. Penny Blue is a small-batch vatted rum that is natural in colour and unchill-filtered.
All the production happens on the one estate, from growing the sugar cane to distillation, maturation and bottling. There is no artificial sweetening.
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Mauritius main page Search. Essential information Mauritius is the ultimate James Bond location – a volcanic island complete with sugar barons, pearly chocolate-box shores, tropical fish, exquisite fusion food and ravishing women. And if lazing in the pool bar with a Mojito isn’t your style, there’s plenty to do off the luxury hotel circuit, too.
The country was the original home of the dodo. Sadly, many other birds seem to be going the same way, but there are still enough to satisfy ornithologists – look out for pink pigeons and echo parakeets. The island is surrounded by a coral reef and the marine life is fantastic: go snorkelling, diving or deep sea fishing, and you’ll see molluscs, turtles, dolphins and hundreds of fish.
Watersports and waterskiing are also popular, and easily organised. For culture, try Port Louis, the capital – especially if you’re looking to pick up some bargains while admiring the architecture. Although Mauritius lies off the south-east coast of Africa, its cultural influences are French, British and Indian. The island was colonised by the Dutch in , who named it after their ruler, Maurice, Prince of Orange. After introducing African slaves, wild boar, sugar cane and tobacco, they shipped out again in , succeeded by the French East India Company who turned the island into a successful trading base.
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