Photo: geminder (flickr)
The largest rat that ever lived was recently discovered in a cave in Southeast Asia. The average ‘house rat’ weighs about 5 ounces. For most people, that is quite large enough. This hefty rodent weighs in at a whopping 13.2 pounds!
If you are terrified of rodents, don’t run screaming just yet. This species of rat is long gone. Scientists used carbon dating to determine that their kind died out 1000-2000 years ago.
This giant is big news in biology, but it is not the only exciting discovery. Many more remains were found, and 11 new species of rodent were found for the first time! The area used to be thick, lush forests where countless species of rats were able to evolve and thrive.
Scientists believe that agricultural foresting is what eventually wiped out many of these exotic rats.
- World’s Largest Rat Discovered (LiveScience)
- Quaternary Murid Rodents of Timor (AmericanMuseumofNaturalHistory)