Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rat-Squirrel Not Extinct After All (Scientists off 11 Million years)
The AP via Yahoo! News ^ | March 9, 2006 | Lauran Neergaard

Posted on 03/09/2006 2:46:21 PM PST by new yorker 77

It has the face of a rat and the tail of a skinny squirrel — and scientists say this creature discovered living in central Laos is pretty special: It's a species believed to have been extinct for 11 million years.

The long-whiskered rodent made international headlines last spring when biologists declared they'd discovered a brand new species, nicknamed the Laotian rock rat.

It turns out the little guy isn't new after all, but a rare kind of survivor: a member of a family until now known only from fossils.

Nor is it a rat. This species, called Diatomyidae, looks more like small squirrels or tree shrews, said paleontologist Mary Dawson of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Dawson, with colleagues in France and China, report the creature's new identity in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

The resemblance is "absolutely striking," Dawson said. As soon as her team spotted reports about the rodent's discovery, "we thought, 'My goodness, this is not a new family. We've known it from the fossil record.'"

They set out to prove that through meticulous comparisons between the bones of today's specimens and fossils found in China and elsewhere in Asia.

To reappear after 11 million years is more exciting than if the rodent really had been a new species, said George Schaller, a naturalist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, which unveiled the creature's existence last year. Indeed, such reappearances are so rare that paleontologists dub them "the Lazarus effect."

"It shows you it's well worth looking around in this world, still, to see what's out there," Schaller said.

The nocturnal rodent lives in Laotian forests largely unexplored by outsiders, because of the geographic remoteness and history of political turmoil.

Schaller calls the area "an absolute wonderland," because biologists who have ventured in have found unique animals, like a type of wild ox called the saola, barking deer, and never-before-seen bats. Dawson describes it as a prehistoric zoo, teeming with information about past and present biodiversity.

All the attention to the ancient rodent will be "wonderful for conservation," Schaller said. "This way, Laos will be proud of that region for all these new animals, which will help conservation in that some of the forests, I hope, will be preserved."

Locals call the rodent kha-nyou. Scientists haven't yet a bagged a breathing one, only the bodies of those recently caught by hunters or for sale at meat markets, where researchers with the New York-based conservation society first spotted the creature.

Now the challenge is to trap some live ones, and calculate how many still exist to tell whether the species is endangered, Dawson said.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allsquirrelsarerats; bloodbath; squirrelarmy; squirrels
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-242 next last

1 posted on 03/09/2006 2:46:24 PM PST by new yorker 77
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

The 'rat weasel is alive and well and living at DNC headquarters.


2 posted on 03/09/2006 2:47:45 PM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clintonfatigued; AliVeritas; holdonnow
The New DNC Symbol?

3 posted on 03/09/2006 2:47:47 PM PST by new yorker 77 (FAKE POLLS DO NOT TRANSLATE INTO REAL VOTERS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
It's a species believed to have been extinct for 11 million years.

It was just hiding all that time.

4 posted on 03/09/2006 2:48:35 PM PST by SIDENET (If those lame Imams can issue fatwas, then so can I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

First, a blond furry lobster and now a rat squirrel.

This could be a great year for restauranters


5 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:11 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (Bob Taft for Impeachment)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DaveLoneRanger

***Ping***


6 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:12 PM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
It's funny. The absurdity of saying it "reappeared".

Like magic.

7 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:17 PM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

he stopped evolving?


8 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:17 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
Oops!


9 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:27 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (My Pug is On Her War Footing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

I guess some will say it re-Evolved in 11 million years. But the facts are it has not changed at all.


10 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:29 PM PST by zipp_city
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SIDENET

The analysis done on the status of rat-squirrel was conducted by the same people who claim humans influence global climate change.


11 posted on 03/09/2006 2:49:43 PM PST by new yorker 77 (FAKE POLLS DO NOT TRANSLATE INTO REAL VOTERS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
Hey, a "rat" that my wife might like.

The hairless tail freaks her out.

Still has the "beady, scheming, like its planning something eyes" -- quote from my wife.
12 posted on 03/09/2006 2:50:50 PM PST by dhs12345
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
These friendly critters have died out and reappeared at least 4 times in the last 10 million years...


13 posted on 03/09/2006 2:51:02 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

14 posted on 03/09/2006 2:51:42 PM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: K4Harty

That's an amazing photo of a coelacanth -- thanks.


15 posted on 03/09/2006 2:52:29 PM PST by 68skylark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

For those of us who subscribe to a "young Earth," creationist view, this comes as no surprise. These fossils, like virtually all others, were "dated" in accordance with their presumed place on the evolutionary tree. (Check out the criticisms of circular fossil dating even among mainstream biologists).

If you removed evolutionary theory bias from the dating equation, there would have been no basis for the 11 million year age of the fossils in the first place.

I'm only surprised that biologists didn't choose to disbelieve their "lying eyes" in favor of evolutionary dogma!


16 posted on 03/09/2006 2:52:48 PM PST by Elpasser
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
I knew I'd seen this animal before


17 posted on 03/09/2006 2:53:03 PM PST by Republican Red ("How good is it? Al-Jazeera gave it 4 1/2 pipe bombs")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wallcrawlr
he stopped evolving?

Evidently, yes. He found a niche which didn't require further adaptation. Nothing in the theory of Natural Selection requires that animals keep changing.

18 posted on 03/09/2006 2:54:04 PM PST by Bubbatuck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

You talking about me!

19 posted on 03/09/2006 2:54:38 PM PST by Godzilla (Cartoons don't kill people, terrorists do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 68skylark

Yeah, it struck me too. All the other ones were skeletons or carcasses (sp) carcai' (gotta check dictionary.com on that one for the prural) Enjoy!


20 posted on 03/09/2006 2:54:38 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (My Pug is On Her War Footing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Bubbatuck

oh yeah....the "niche" theory.

forgot about that one


21 posted on 03/09/2006 2:55:46 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: wallcrawlr

Not sure what "theory" you're talking about. I know of no "niche" theory.

Is it your assertion that animals MUST keep changing, absent any reason to do so?


22 posted on 03/09/2006 2:56:56 PM PST by Bubbatuck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: zipp_city
"I guess some will say it re-Evolved in 11 million years. But the facts are it has not changed at all."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>...........
but but that means the evolutionists were wrong about this rat..dang I thought evolution was well THE TRUEST THEORY OF ALL, HOW COULD THEY BE SO WRONG. lets not bring it up in class the kiddies need not know.
23 posted on 03/09/2006 2:57:07 PM PST by ConsentofGoverned (if a sucker is born every minute, what are the voters?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
To reappear after 11 million years is more exciting than if the rodent really had been a new species

This from a supposedly well educated naturalist!!! No reappearance or discovery involved. Western scientists have just seen it for this first time alive and not as a fossil. The local folk have a name and (likely thought the article doesn't say so) recipes for this animal.

24 posted on 03/09/2006 2:57:35 PM PST by JimSEA (America cannot have an exit strategy from the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
To paraphrase the old saying: "Reports of my death are really, really, really, really, really, premature."
25 posted on 03/09/2006 2:59:21 PM PST by Reaganesque
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

Maybe it just "re-evolved" from a bizarre midnight rat/squirrel tryst?


26 posted on 03/09/2006 2:59:37 PM PST by manwiththehands
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConsentofGoverned
What's a few million years one way or the other anyway?
That's like a nano second to the evos.
27 posted on 03/09/2006 2:59:38 PM PST by WKB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: K4Harty

Rat................................... Squirrel.Any questions?

28 posted on 03/09/2006 3:00:29 PM PST by Tall_Texan (Hate means never having to say you're crazy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: zipp_city; Bingo Jerry
Obviously the little mammal hasn't read Judge Jones' Dover PA ruling!

Evolution is a fact, lil' tree shrew. So you didn't bother to evolve you're breaking the LAW! Don't plan any trips to the Middle US Judicial District of PA, Mr. Rat-Squirrel -- you may be thrown in jail.

29 posted on 03/09/2006 3:00:40 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77
I still like the old one...LOL

Image hosting by Photobucket

30 posted on 03/09/2006 3:02:49 PM PST by A.Hun (Common sense is no longer common.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

Not a lot o' meat on them haunches. Mebbe we can use 'em for hats.


31 posted on 03/09/2006 3:03:24 PM PST by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: js1138

LOL. Just the little furball I was thinking of...


32 posted on 03/09/2006 3:04:22 PM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ConsentofGoverned
but but that means the evolutionists were wrong about this rat..dang I thought evolution was well THE TRUEST THEORY OF ALL, HOW COULD THEY BE SO WRONG.

The discovery that this species did not go extinct, like the discovery of the coelcanth, doesn't actually help or hurt the theory of evolution.

Why do you think it would?

33 posted on 03/09/2006 3:05:37 PM PST by Potowmack ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: xcamel; new yorker 77
That's true about the saber-toothed cats. And actually the modern Clouded Leopard has a tooth structure that is very similar to the saber-toothed cats of yore. It's elongated skull (which is so different from all other cats that it belongs to a genus of its own) houses the largest canines in proportion to body size. The Clouded Leopard is also known as the 'modern-day saber-tooth.'


34 posted on 03/09/2006 3:06:58 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: bvw
Evolution is a fact, lil' tree shrew. So you didn't bother to evolve you're breaking the LAW!

Absent an environmental pressure, a species is unlikely to evolve much. Sharks have remained relatively unchanged in tens of millions of years.

35 posted on 03/09/2006 3:07:38 PM PST by Potowmack ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: dhs12345
"Still has the "beady, scheming, like its planning something eyes" -- quote from my wife."

Was she talking about you or the rat-squirrel? :-)

36 posted on 03/09/2006 3:08:02 PM PST by El Gran Salseron (The FR Canteen's Resident Equal Opportunity Male Chauvinist Pig! :-))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: new yorker 77

Jeez... ANOTHER article about Marty Meehan?


37 posted on 03/09/2006 3:08:39 PM PST by pabianice (contact ebay??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: El Gran Salseron

LOL! Sometimes I wonder.


38 posted on 03/09/2006 3:09:11 PM PST by dhs12345
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Potowmack
"The discovery that this species did not go extinct, like the discovery of the coelcanth, doesn't actually help or hurt the theory of evolution."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..................
yeah, but it sure messes up their charts. LOL
39 posted on 03/09/2006 3:09:43 PM PST by ConsentofGoverned (if a sucker is born every minute, what are the voters?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ConsentofGoverned
yeah, but it sure messes up their charts. LOL

Not really. It's interesting that this species survived longer than we thought it did, but that doesn't really "mess up" anything.

40 posted on 03/09/2006 3:14:18 PM PST by Potowmack ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Potowmack
Not really. It's interesting that this species survived longer than we thought it did, but that doesn't really "mess up" anything.

Right, no big deal. It just gives folks who hate science anyway a chance to laugh.

41 posted on 03/09/2006 3:21:06 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Angelas; presidio9; Idisarthur; Hegemony Cricket; A knight without armor; new cruelty; SunkenCiv; ..
Image hosting by Photobucket
42 posted on 03/09/2006 3:25:52 PM PST by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: zipp_city
I guess some will say it re-Evolved in 11 million years.

You guess wrong, no one will say that.

But the facts are it has not changed at all.

That's a possibility, but I'd be willing to lay money on the proposition that it has changed in some respects, albeit perhaps minor ones.

43 posted on 03/09/2006 3:30:42 PM PST by Ichneumon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ConsentofGoverned
yeah, but it sure messes up their charts. LOL

Not really, no.

44 posted on 03/09/2006 3:31:50 PM PST by Ichneumon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Ichneumon

Ok ok , geesssh just trying to keep it light.


45 posted on 03/09/2006 3:35:36 PM PST by ConsentofGoverned (if a sucker is born every minute, what are the voters?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: wallcrawlr
he stopped evolving?

If the rat squirrel adapted successfully to a particular ecological niche that remained basically unchanged, there would be no pressure for evolving.
46 posted on 03/09/2006 3:39:20 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Elpasser; new yorker 77
For those of us who subscribe to a "young Earth," creationist view, this comes as no surprise.

Of course not, because anything can be rationalized when you don't care about actually matching the totality of the evidence.

These fossils, like virtually all others, were "dated" in accordance with their presumed place on the evolutionary tree.

This is a gross falsehood. Where did you "learn" about science, from creationist pamphlets?

(Check out the criticisms of circular fossil dating even among mainstream biologists).

Ah, right you mean "check out the out-of-context 'quotes' that creationists like to present in ways that dishonestly try to make it appear that 'mainstream biologists' have 'admitted' to circular dating methods"... You *have* been reading the creationist pamphlets, I see.

If you removed evolutionary theory bias from the dating equation, there would have been no basis for the 11 million year age of the fossils in the first place.

Utter horse manure. Here, try to learn something on this topic for once before you spout any more blatant falsehoods: Radiometric Dating and the Geological Time Scale: Circular Reasoning or Reliable Tools? , and Radiometric Dating Resource List.

I'm only surprised that biologists didn't choose to disbelieve their "lying eyes" in favor of evolutionary dogma!

I'm only surprised you posted as few of your "lying claims" as you have -- people ignorant of science usually post giant screeds of anti-evolutionary dogma. At least you were restrained in the amount of ignorance you chose to add to the discussion.

47 posted on 03/09/2006 3:41:25 PM PST by Ichneumon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Republican Red
OK, one good weasel hairpiece deserves another. Anyone remember this guy????


48 posted on 03/09/2006 3:44:22 PM PST by Defiant (Muslim Unitarian:There is no God but Abraham's, and Mohammed said he was his prophet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: bvw; zipp_city; Bingo Jerry
Obviously the little mammal hasn't read Judge Jones' Dover PA ruling!

You're babbling incoherently again. I just thought you'd like to know.

Evolution is a fact, lil' tree shrew.

True.

So you didn't bother to evolve you're breaking the LAW!

False. Are you really this ignorant of biology, or do you just enjoy using falsehoods in order to dishonestly ridicule something which doesn't actually deserve it because it doesn't actually make the claim you impute to it?

Don't plan any trips to the Middle US Judicial District of PA, Mr. Rat-Squirrel -- you may be thrown in jail.

Babbling again.

49 posted on 03/09/2006 3:44:56 PM PST by Ichneumon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Potowmack

It's hurts evolutionist's credibility.

If evolutionists could be wrong about this. What might they also be wrong about?

Is the fossil record so sparse that this creature could survive for 11 million years without a trace? And if so, what other creatures were alive before or after their alleged dates giving by evolutionists?

Were the fossils of this creature assigned the wrong dates? Were evolutionists looking at fossils that were only a few hundred or thousand years old, and thinking because it is an extinct creature, that the fossils were much older than they are?

Was this creature used to date the strata and other fossils like like the Coelanthe was? How many other fossils are assumed to be 11 million years old because they were found in the same strata as a rat squirrel?

And did anybody ever go back and revisit the justification for dates for stata or fossils that were dated based on the Coelanthe? Does anybody even remember how many dates could be affected?

That's part of the problem that we have with the whole story that evo's keep pushing. How much of it is based on science? Is that science good or bad science? How much is based on assumptions and evolutionary bias? How much is based on false assumptions like rat skirrels being extinct?

We don't know but we suspect A LOT!!!

It's not the death knell. God showing up today with a video tape of just how he created the creatures, which ones were created unique and which ones were the result of natural selection of genetic potential in the originals, where the mistakes in our science are, and answering all of the evolutionist's objections wouldn't be the death knell of evolution.

Because tomorrow some evo is going to print a story about how mentally retarded palm walking Turkish people are proof that man evolved from apes.


50 posted on 03/09/2006 3:45:02 PM PST by DannyTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-242 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson