Giant dog-sized rats discovered in Australia

July 28th, 2010 - 8:12 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

rat Sydney, July 28 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Archeologists in Australia have given the details of the remains of the giant rats that were discovered in a cave in East Timorese.

The ancient rats, which were the size of small dogs, grew up to attain a weight up to 6 kg. The remains of the giant rats were among the 13 different rodent types that were found after years of research in East Timor. The rats were about three times the size of the biggest modern rodents in the world.

It is believed the rats became extinct about 1,000 to 2,000 years ago and it is believed they lived at the forests of East Timor. The heavy forest clearing for agricultural practices is blamed for the rodent’s eventual extinction. “Large-scale clearing of forest for agriculture probably caused the extinctions, and this may have only been possible following the introduction of metal tools,” according to Ken Aplin of government science agency CSIRO.

The details of the giant rats were published in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. The publication reported these facts this week and scientists say that the find brings the need to protect the rats to the fore.

Currently, the world’s largest living rats live in the rainforests in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. They weigh two kilograms and scientists say they believe there are still some undiscovered rat species that are out there.

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