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Ono R.,Tokai University | Intoh M.,National Museum of Ethnology
Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology

This article presents an analysis of fish bones and prehistoric fishing on Fais in the western Caroline Islands, Micronesia. In total 18 marine fish families (26 taxa) were identified including two families of sharks (Carcharhinidae and Lamnidae). Our analysis with use of vertebrae for identification reveals that the total MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals) of inshore and offshore (outer-reef to pelagic zone) fish species is almost constant in Fais from initial settlement to early prehistoric times (AD 400 to 800) due to a drastic increase in the tuna catch. However, the number of tuna dramatically decreased after AD 1200. Although the exact reason(s) for such increase and decrease in tuna capture is uncertain, the increase could be related to changes in fishing technology, population increase, and possible climatic changes, while the drastic decrease seems directly related to accessibility of marine resources due to climatic change, particularly betweenAD1200 and 1500. Based on these results, we further discuss the character of Fais fishing by comparing it with fishing on islands in other parts of Oceania. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Hunt H.V.,University of Cambridge | Moots H.M.,University of Cambridge | Matthews P.J.,National Museum of Ethnology
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is a vegetatively propagated, starchy root crop cultivated in tropical to temperate regions of the world. Wild forms of taro are distributed from India to southern China, Australia and Melanesia. They are widely known wild food or fodder sources, including in Aboriginal Australia, so it is unclear to what extent wild populations have been dispersed by humans, or naturally via insect-borne pollen and seed dispersal by birds or other animals. In Australia, pollinators and seedlings of taro have not been reported, and a key question is whether or not the wild taro there can breed naturally. Here we report field observations of flowering, fruit set, and an insect pollinator (Colocasiomyia, pupal stage), in a historically significant wild taro population at Hopevale in northern Queensland. The observed pupa is congeneric with two pollinating fly species that have a highly specialised, probably coevolutionary, relationship with taro in neighbouring Papua New Guinea. The field observations suggested the possibility of natural breeding at Hopevale. By analyzing microsatellite diversity within the Hopevale taro population, we found high genetic variation overall, indicative of multiple founding individuals. Two sublocations showed low genetic diversity and strongly negative inbreeding coefficients, consistent with predominantly clonal (vegetative) reproduction. A third sublocation showed high genetic diversity and a weakly negative inbreeding coefficient, indicative of sexual reproduction. This difference between sublocations may relate to microenvironmental conditions that favour seedling establishment in some parts of the site. The data constitute the first demonstration that natural breeding and population spread occurs in Australian wild taro. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Lentfer C.,University of Queensland | Matthews P.J.,National Museum of Ethnology | Gosden C.,University of Oxford | Specht J.,University of Sydney
Archaeology in Oceania

Organic residue on a stone artefact recovered from the Makekur Lapita site (FOH) on Arawe Island in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, was sampled and dated. The residue is identified as endocarp fragments of a Canarium species nutshell, most likely Canarium indicum L. The artefact, which is made from coralline limestone, is interpreted as a nut-cracking anvil. AMS dating places its use at approximately 2800 calBP, in Middle-Late Lapita times, and provides the first direct confirmation of Lapita-age use of nut-cracking tools. The careful shaping of the tool, combined with ethnographic comparisons, suggests that it was made and used for preparation of special food, possibly for feasting associated with ritual or other ceremonial activities. © 2013 Oceania Publications. Source

Kikusawa R.,National Museum of Ethnology | Kikusawa R.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies | Okumoto M.,Kyoto University | Kubo T.,Hiroshima University | Rodrigo L.,Autonomous University of Madrid
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

Lecture materials for deaf and hard-of-hearing scholars with sign language (SL) interpretation inevitably include multiple-video content.Ausability assessment of such a program was conducted, contrasting presentations with 3 media and 6 media views. The preference of Deaf researchers for SL interpretation to subtitles was confirmed, and the need for different arrangements depending on the needs of users was discovered. A prototype system was developed based on the results. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Source

Ahmed I.,Massey University | Ahmed I.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Biggs P.J.,Massey University | Matthews P.J.,National Museum of Ethnology | And 3 more authors.
Genome Biology and Evolution

A characteristic feature of eukaryote and prokaryote genomes is the co-occurrence of nucleotide substitution and insertion/deletion (indel) mutations. Although similar observations have also been made for chloroplast DNA, genome-wide associations have not been reported.We determined the chloroplast genome sequences for two morphotypes of taro (Colocasia esculenta; family Araceae) and compared these with four publicly available aroid chloroplast genomes. Here, we report the extent of genome-wide association between direct and inverted repeats, indels, and substitutions in these aroid chloroplast genomes. We suggest that alternative but not mutually exclusive hypotheses explain the mutational dynamics of chloroplast genome evolution. © The Author(s) 2012. Source

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