Quinn Minute – A nine-foot-long rodent?
by Rix Quinn
A guy named Dan asks, ”Is it really true that scientists found a fossil of a nine-foot-long rat?”
Dan, this report — like my first job application — is mostly true. Actually, the monster mouse measured nine feet long, many times the size of my gerbil Gerald.
I asked Gerald what he knew. Gerald claims he’s heard about several rats in history, but thinks most of them were much smaller than a rhinoceros.
This giant rodent lived nearly eight million years ago. Fortunately for 21st century people, the animal is now quite sincerely fossilized.
Scientists say this beast had huge teeth, a long tail, and weighed as much as a buffalo. This would make him a formidable foe, but a poor dancer.
What did he eat? I am not sure, but I suspect the answer is “anything he wanted.”
Earlier scientific expeditions to that same region found bones of several huge reptiles, including one eight-foot turtle shell and a bunch of gigantic crocodiles.
Researchers also discovered the teeth of a giant mammal. We’re not sure what it was, but you wouldn’t want it for a house pet.
Why did those massive rats disappear? No one is sure, but here is a guess:
Real, real, real big cats.
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