New Rodent Discovered in Southeast Asia
“To find something so distinct in this day and age is just extraordinary,” says Dr. Robert Timmons of a stubby-legged, hairy rodent discovered in Thailand. “For all we know, this could be the last remaining mammal family left to be discovered.” It’s not exactly like a squirrel, rat, chinchilla or guinea pig: it belongs in a whole new family. See story on EurekAlert and Science Daily.
The BBC News is celebrating another famous mammal specimen that bamboozled the experts 200 years ago when it was first brought to England: the platypus. Some thought it was a joke when they first saw a mammal with a duck’s bill and webbed feet.
Update 05/19/2005: a new species of monkey was discovered in Tanzania, reports National Geographic News. It was all the more surprising to find this 3-foot tall mammal, considering that Tanzania is one of the biologically well-known countries in Africa. The new primate is called the highland mangabey and lives in the mountains at elevations up to 8,000 ft.
See also the unexpected discovery of a lungless salamander in Korea (see 05/10/2005 entry). Who knows what other strange animals remain to be discovered in remote parts of the world. Keep your eyes open for that duck-billed mastodon that might be lurking in an alley in San Francisco. Maybe Tom Weller’s menagerie of skunkosaurs, wooly turtles and saber-tooth ducks will some day be seen as prophetic, and the Darwinists will marvel at more cases of convergent evolution.