Although Easter Island currently has only 48 different kinds of plants as evidenced by botanical surveys of the island, it once possessed many more, shown through pollen analysis conducted on sediment layers from swamps or ponds.
Sea turtles and seals are now rare curiosities, but crayfish and various coastal and deep-sea fishes abound around the coast. The skeletal remains of 25 different species of nesting bird have been located on the island, but have since been reduced to Parasitic tuff craters and cones i.
On the first of Decemberthe ex-President Michelle Bachelet returned ancestral lands in the form of the Rapa Nui National Park to the indigenous people. The youngest lava flow, Roiho, is dated at 0.
A study headed by Douglas Owsley published in asserted that there is little archaeological evidence of pre-European societal collapse.
The current Polynesian name of the island, Rapa Nui "Big Rapa"was coined after the slave raids of the early s, and refers to the island's topographic resemblance to the island of Rapa in the Bass Islands of the Austral Islands group.
Most settlements were located on the coast, and most moai were erected along the coastline, watching over their descendants in the settlements before them, with their backs toward the spirit world in the sea.