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It is thought that the arrival of the aborigines to the archipelago led to the extinction of some big reptiles and insular mammals, for example, the giant lizard Gallotia goliath (which managed to reach up to a meter in length) and Canariomys bravoi, the giant rat of Tenerife.
A 2003 genetics research article by Nicole Maca-Meyer et al.
Gadifer would invade Lanzarote and Fuerteventura with ease since many of the aboriginals, faced with issues of starvation and poor agriculture, would surrender to Spanish rule. El Hierro and the Bimbache population were the next to fall, then La Gomera, Gran Canaria, La Palma and in 1496, Tenerife.
In the First Battle of Acentejo (), called La Matanza (the slaughter), Guanches ambushed the Castilians in a valley and killed many.
The name came to be applied to the indigenous populations of all the seven Canary Islands, those of Tenerife being the most important or powerful.
What remains of their language, Guanche – a few expressions, vocabulary words and the proper names of ancient chieftains still borne by certain families The first reliable account of the Guanche language was provided by the Genoese explorer Nicoloso da Recco in 1341, with a translation of numbers used by the islanders.
These show that Romans did trade with the Canaries, though there is no evidence of their ever settling there.
Archaeology of the Canaries seems to reflect diverse levels of technology, some differing from the Neolithic culture that was encountered at the time of conquest.
Inscriptions, glyphs and rock paintings and carvings are quite abundant throughout the islands.
It is believed that they migrated to the archipelago around 1000 BC or perhaps earlier.
The Guanches were the only native people known to have lived in the Macaronesian region before the arrival of Europeans, as there is no evidence that the other Macaronesian archipelagos (Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira) were inhabited before Europeans arrived.
Apart from the marvelous and fanciful content of this history, this account would suggest that Guanches had sporadic contacts with populations from the mainland.
Al-Idrisi also described the Guanche men as tall and of a reddish-brown complexion.
Among the villagers, one did speak Arabic and asked them where they came from.