Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another new mammal? New family too?

Could it be that another heretofore unknown mammal was discovered this week?

The new species in this previously unknown family is called kha-nyou (pronounced ga-nyou) by local people. Scientists found that differences in the skull and bone structure and in the animal's DNA revealed it to be a member of a distinct family that diverged from others of the rodent order millions of years ago. "To find something so distinct in this day and age is just extraordinary," said Dr. Robert J. Timmins of the Wildlife Conservation Society, one of the discoverers. "For all we know, this could be the last remaining mammal family left to be discovered."

Naturalists had trouble recalling when a new family of mammals was last identified. It may have been when, in the 1970's, a new family of bats was found in Thailand.

I wonder how it tastes...
Dr. Timmins said he was not tempted to feast on a rock rat and never thought to ask what it tasted like. A trip to the market, he said, made it clear that "in Laos, pretty much everything gets eaten."
Oh well. I guess I'll never know.

by Robster @ 5/14/2005 12:06:00 AM PERMALink