Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cyprus mouse not as unique as claimed

Every article I've seen on the new species of mouse from Cyprus (see earlier post) includes the discoverers' statement that this is the first new mammal described from Europe in over a century. Paleobiologist Darren Naish wondered if that was true. It turns out to be way off. Naish counts no fewer than 29 new species of moles, voles, mice, bats, and other odds and ends described from the world's most densely populated continent in that time frame. It's a good reminder that just because a qualified scientist says something is true, and presumably believes it's true, does not guarantee he or she has done the homework before putting out the claim.

Thanks to Darren Naish

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