Solomon Islands

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Scientist's 'Spectacular' Discovery: a Giant Rat

New species is at risk in Solomon Islands, scientists say

(Newser) - Encountering a foot-and-a-half-long rat might be nightmarish for some, but for Tyrone Lavery, it heralded a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. Back in 2010, the mammalogist was exploring the Solomon Islands when he heard locals describe "vika," a giant tree-dwelling rat with teeth powerful enough to break open coconuts. Reports of... More »

2 More Big Quakes Hit Tsunami-Ravaged Solomons

But no more tsunami warnings issued

(Newser) - Strong aftershocks rattled the Solomon Islands today, hampering relief efforts to tsunami-ravaged villages and forcing the South Pacific nation's prime minister to forgo a visit to the stricken area, where nine deaths have been confirmed. Officials were already struggling to reach the isolated region when a magnitude-6.6 aftershock... More »

Tsunami Kills 4 in Solomons

5-foot waves spawned from 8.0 quake

(Newser) - At least four people were killed after a powerful 8.0 magnitude quake struck near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific today, triggering a small tsunami, Reuters reports. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued, but later canceled, warnings for other South Pacific islands, Australia, and New Zealand. Two waves... More »

Islanders' Blond Hair Is Genetic Quirk

It comes from a gene mutation, not Europeans

(Newser) - A peculiar pairing of dark skin and blond hair in the native population of the Solomon Islands is due to a unique gene and not, as previously thought, the intermingling of Europeans with the inhabitants, finds a new study. About 5 to 10% of the indigenous peoples on the islands... More »

As Currency, Dolphin Teeth Feel Recession's Bite

In South Pacific, Solomon Islands putting more stock in ancient trading chip

(Newser) - Spinner dolphins had better watch out—their pearly whites are again a fast-growing currency in the South Pacific, the Wall Street Journal reports. Economic troubles in the Solomon Islands have caused many to return to the traditional trading chip. “Dolphin teeth are like gold,” says the governor of... More »

Tsunami Slams Solomon Islands

Island of Gizo said to be "entirely washed away and people are floating in the sea"

(Newser) - A tsunami hit the Solomon Islands early Monday morning, killing at least 12 and stranding thousands more. The 8.1 quake brought huge waves nearly a mile inland in some places. "I'm driving down the street -- there are boats in the middle of the road, buildings have completely... More »

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