Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here I come to save the day!

Ahh! The fun part about having been a geologist is I still enjoy reading up on the science and wonder of it all.

Like this giant rat the size of a car. He would have swallowed Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty whole and thrown in Dino as dessert.

Man, just think how big a mousetrap would have had to be, let alone how big a hunk of cheese you'd have to place on it to get it to go for the trap. And talk about the cats! They'd be about 100 feet long to stay proportionate in size to the rats. How'd you'd like to clean those litter boxes? Hmm?

I'm just sayin'

Giant rat that once roamed the earth
Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter

The fossilised skull of a rat the size of a car has been unearthed. The creature lived about four million years ago, weighed about a tonne and ate mostly soft vegetation. It was so big that it probably spent much of its life semi-submerged in water, like a hippo, to reduce the stresses caused by its size.

Palaeontologists found the skull in rock deposits in Uruguay. It is believed to date back two to four million years to a time when giant wildlife was commonplace in South America.
The rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi, was uncovered by Andrés Rinderknecht and Ernesto Blanco. It has been nicknamed Mighty Mouse and is thought to have been similar to the capybara and pacarana, much smaller creatures that are still found in South America. Capybaras are the biggest living rodents at just over 60kg fully grown, while pacaranas weigh 15kg. The common rat weighs about 300g.

J. monesi is thought to have weighed about a tonne and the biggest specimens could have been more than 2.5 tonnes — about the same as hippopotamuses, which range from 1.4 tonnes to 3.2 tonnes.

The rodent was estimated to be about 3m (10 feet) long and 1.5m tall. Its huge incisors were more than 30cm (12in) long, of which 10cm would have been exposed.