Thursday, August 23, 2012

Newest mammal - weird rat can't gnaw

The whole point of existence for a rodent is to gnaw everything in sight.  but this rat can't. Nor can it chew. It has 2 teeth!  The new Indonesian species, Paucidentomys vermidax, has a name that can be loosely translated as "worm-eating mouse with few teeth."  The codiscoverer says that, compared to all the 2,200 known rodent species, this one is bizarre: "In having lost all teeth except a pair of unusually shaped incisors that are incapable of gnawing, this new rat is unique among rodents."
COMMENT: We are not only still finding new species. We are finding one that teach us there are evolutionary pathways we didn't know had ever been followed. 

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