Remains Of Giant Dog Sized Rat Found In East Timor

July 28th, 2010 - 6:41 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
ratJuly 28, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The archaeologists of Australia have unearthed the remains of the World’s largest rat ever to have scurried on earth. The incredible discovery was made during one of the cave excavations by the scientists and to their utter surprise they found out that the rat was three times bigger than present day’s largest rat species and about the weight of a dog! The discovery was made in one of the East Timorese Caves.

The archaeologists discovered bones of the rat along with the remains of 12 other species which was previously unknown to science. The information about this giant rodent is detailed in the Smithsonian Institute’s Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History and Ken Aplin, an official of government science agency CSIRO said that the rats weighed upto six kilograms (13 pounds) and these species lived there until 1,000 to 2,000 years ago and became extinct owing to development of technology in agricultural fields and clearance of natural abode. Ken Aplin also added that the introduction of metal “tools” in agriculture and large scale clearance of forest to make space for agriculture may have caused the extinction of these difficult “sell, protecting rats”.

The study researcher Ken Aplin said that “rodents” consists of 40 percent of mammalian diversity and are one of the key elements in maintaining ecological balance by maintaining soil and helping in seed dispersal. The largest living rats reportedly weighs around two kilograms and live in rain-forests of Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The team now plans to investigate an area of marshy rain forest where they believe some grass eating “specialists” of rats might still survive. The researcher Ken Aplin added that the team needs to act quickly to conserve them.

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