Rock rat back from ‘extinction’ – World – theage.com.au

IT WAS thought to have become extinct 11 million years ago — a chipmunk-sized, brush-tailed rodent with a long head and quick paws well-suited for scooting across the rock escarpments of ancient China and Pakistan.

Then last year in central Laos, Western scientists spotted an unusual animal carcass in a meat market near the Mekong River. So unusual, in fact, that it turned out to represent a new rodent family — the first new mammal family to be announced in 30 years.

The researchers called it Laonastes aenigmamus — the Laotian “rock rat”. Local people call it “kha-nyou”.

It turned out that kha-nyou is a textbook example of a phenomenon known as the “Lazarus effect”.

via Rock rat back from ‘extinction’ – World – theage.com.au.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s