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Chinese super-rat roamed Earth 160 million years ago
Phys.Org ^ | 08-15-2013 | Staff

Posted on 08/20/2013 2:27:01 PM PDT by Red Badger

A fossil of the oldest known ancestor of modern rats—an agile creature that could climb, burrow and eat just about anything—has been unearthed in China, scientists said Thursday.

The newly named species Rugosodon eurasiaticus had flexible ankles for tree-climbing and sharp teeth that could gnaw both animals and plants, according to the journal Science.

These adaptations helped the ancient rat-like rodents known as multituberculates become among the longest lived mammals in history, said the study led by Chong-Xi Yuan from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing.

Believed to originate 160 million years ago during the Jurassic Period, they lived for some 100 million years in the age of the dinosaurs before modern rodents overcame them.

Their abilities also led to their evolution and diversification into a range of tree-dwelling and plant-eating mammals that followed, said the researchers from China and the United States.

"Some could jump, some could burrow, others could climb trees and many more lived on the ground," said co-author Zhe-Xi Luo of the University of Chicago.

"The tree-climbing multituberculates and the jumping multituberculates had the most interesting ankle bones, capable of 'hyper-back-rotation' of the hind feet."

The latest fossil was found in the Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation in eastern China.

Its name comes from the Latin "rugosus" for wrinkles and "odon" for tooth, because of its bumpy molar surface and "eurasiaticus" for its widespread territory.

Luo said the fossil is similar to those found in Portugal, suggesting that it and its relatives were widely found across the entire Eurasian continent.

The creature was believed to have a body mass of about 65 to 80 grams (2.3-2.8 ounces).

Like most early nocturnal mammals, Rugosodon eurasiaticus was active at night. This reconstruction shows Rugosodon searching for food among ferns and cycads on the lake shores in the darkness. Credit: April Isch, University of Chicago

Researchers said the tooth and ankle adaptations likely evolved very early in the creatures' existence, helping them to become so long-lived as a group.

The fossil of Rugosodon eurasiaticus is preserved in two shale slabs in part (left) and counterpart (right). It is about 17 cm (6.5 inches) long from head to rump, and is estimated to have weighed 80 grams (about 2.8 ounces).

The sediments at the site of discovery are lake sediments with embedded volcanic layers. The fossil assemblage of Rugosodon also includes feathered dinosaur Anchiornis and the pterosaur Darwinopterus. By the dental features, Rugosodon eurasiaticus closely resembles the teeth of some multituberculate mammals of the Late Jurassic of the Western Europe, suggesting that Europe and Asia had extensive mammal faunal inter-changes in the Jurassic. Credit: Zhe-Xi Luo of University of Chicago and Chongxi Yuan of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences


TOPICS: History; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: archaeology; chinesebuffet; chinesefood; eurasiaticus; godsgravesglyphs; jurassic; mightymouse; paleontology; portugal; rat; rugosodon; tiaojishan

1 posted on 08/20/2013 2:27:01 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger
So liberals have been around that long?
cool thread

2 posted on 08/20/2013 2:28:21 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: svcw

And apparently Chinese restaurants..............


3 posted on 08/20/2013 2:29:01 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Red Badger

It moved to the US and became the Democrat Party


4 posted on 08/20/2013 2:29:17 PM PDT by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
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To: Red Badger
and eat just about anything Let me guess the rats name was michele?
5 posted on 08/20/2013 2:32:36 PM PDT by ColdOne (I miss my poochie... Tasha 2000~3/14/11)
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To: Red Badger

The evolutionary line can be traced from a series of fossils which - SQUIRREL!


6 posted on 08/20/2013 2:35:17 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: svcw

Sort of like mammalian cockroaches. Maoists too, no doubt.


7 posted on 08/20/2013 2:35:57 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama: the bearded lady of Muslim Brotherhood))
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To: Red Badger

They tasted just like chicken!


8 posted on 08/20/2013 2:36:01 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Red Badger

a brand new source for American political candidates?


9 posted on 08/20/2013 2:39:43 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (E)
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To: molson209
A current evolutionary offshoot has been verified:


10 posted on 08/20/2013 2:41:57 PM PDT by mikrofon (Among other close relatives...)
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To: Red Badger
Hell, we have a bunch of these suckers running around in S. Louisiana. We call them Nutria:


11 posted on 08/20/2013 2:44:33 PM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: Malone LaVeigh

Are they good to eat?............


12 posted on 08/20/2013 2:45:20 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Malone LaVeigh

http://www.food.com/recipe/smothered-nutria-cajun-style-418543


13 posted on 08/20/2013 2:50:34 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Red Badger

What is so “super” about a 6 inch rat? Methinks you need to take it easy with your superlatives...


14 posted on 08/20/2013 2:52:26 PM PDT by jimmygrace
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To: Malone LaVeigh

I doubt it had anything on the Honeybadger.


15 posted on 08/20/2013 2:59:59 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: Red Badger

Now we just call them Congresscritters.


16 posted on 08/20/2013 3:03:06 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: jimmygrace

I think anyone who has ever been to the Far East will swear they saw one bigger than six inches (from nose to rump) and a pound and half coming out of any rice paddy or open sewer....


17 posted on 08/20/2013 3:03:24 PM PDT by Bill Russell
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


18 posted on 08/20/2013 3:10:53 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Red Badger

A Chinese Super Rat? I know a Kenyan Jackass who entered America and destroyed the local ecosystem.


19 posted on 08/20/2013 3:18:29 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: Red Badger

and a kenyan super rat raoms the white hut


20 posted on 08/20/2013 3:20:29 PM PDT by bravo whiskey (We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.)
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To: Red Badger

Anything that can’t fill a Subway footlong bun doesn’t deserve to be called “super”.


21 posted on 08/20/2013 3:23:51 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Red Badger
It isn't extinct yet...


22 posted on 08/20/2013 3:37:00 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: Bill Russell

I caught one bigger than that in my garage. It was 15” from nose to tip of tail and I have the pictures to prove it.


23 posted on 08/20/2013 3:46:39 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Red Badger
It is about 17 cm (6.5 inches) long from head to rump, and is estimated to have weighed 80 grams (about 2.8 ounces).

That's a "super rat"? It must have had a cape and an alter ego.

24 posted on 08/20/2013 3:58:47 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: Dallas59

HaHaHaHaHa! bttt


25 posted on 08/20/2013 5:09:38 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Red Badger; svcw; molson209; ColdOne; Sirius Lee; Hardraade; Dr. Bogus Pachysandra; ...
That's odd... it says online that James Carville is only 68, and was born in Louisiana.


26 posted on 08/20/2013 5:29:22 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: Rodamala

Ok, I laughed........smack me


27 posted on 08/20/2013 5:31:11 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: Red Badger

I knew a sorority girl with sharp teeth and flexible ankles, and she was a nocturnal mammal.
She was very active at night, but I don’t think she was technically a rodent or rat.


28 posted on 08/20/2013 5:53:54 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: colorado tanker; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

Thanks colorado tanker for the ping, and Red Badger for the topic.

29 posted on 08/20/2013 6:15:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Red Badger

Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist...


30 posted on 08/20/2013 6:18:22 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? We can have both!)
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To: SunkenCiv

They should study the Chicago Super-Rat.


31 posted on 08/20/2013 7:33:30 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

Uber-Rat, he’s not all that super. :’)


32 posted on 08/20/2013 8:46:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Red Badger
"A fossil of the oldest known ancestor of modern rats—an agile creature that could climb, burrow and eat just about anything—has been unearthed in China, scientists said Thursday.”

They're still around, but they look a little different.


33 posted on 08/21/2013 12:50:12 AM PDT by clearcarbon
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To: null and void

... only in the Fire Swamp, my FRiend.


34 posted on 08/21/2013 11:44:42 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (What happens over the rainbow stays over the rainbow)
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