Wednesday, January 21, 2009

World's Largest Extinct Rodent

I surf around in the internet trying to find the largest rodents in the world and end up with the extinct species of rat.

The world's largest rodent, Phoberomys pattersoni claimed to be more like a giant guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) rather than an oversize house rat (Rattus rattus). This species was reported to be the largest rodent that ever existed, although it has been known only from isolated teeth and fragmentary postcranial bones. The weigh (body mass) was estimated ~700 kilograms, more than 10 times the mass of the largest living rodent, the capybara. Fuh...i can't imagine that size of rat.

Almost 700 kilograms and if i look at it i will also think it is a guinea pig and not a rat. If it is still alive, i will not dare to come close to it. This finding was really interesting and it is really really big animal (especially for a rat).

However, the Phoberomys was most likely a herbivore and Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra, a paleontologist at the University of Turbingen in Germany doubt it was a pest.

Read more at: Science Magazine and National Geographic

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