It’s Giant Rodent Day at Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo!

The most recent news out of Papua New Guinea is the discovery of a giant rat. Now, we don’t really like rats at the best of times, and a rat that’s five times larger than the normal variety sounded kind of scary. But actually this picture makes the Mallomys giant rat seem kinda cute. (see picture below)

Click here to read the full article.

Are any of my readers familiar with the ROUS’s (Rodents of Unusual Size) from The Princess Bride Books and movies? These two critters bear a striking resemblance:

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rous.jpg

Hopefully Mallomys doesn’t have an unquenchable thirst for human blood.

Check out this real rodent of unusual size,the capybara! The capybara is the world’s largest living rodent species.

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According to this Wikipedia article: Capybaras are social animals, usually found in groups, between 10 and 30 (though looser groups of up to 100 sometimes can be formed),controlled by a dominant male, who will have a prominent scent gland on his nose used for smearing his scent on the grasses in his territory. They communicate through a combination of scent and sound, being very vocal animals with purrs and alarm barks, whistles and clicks, squeals and grunts.

Capybaras are excellent swimmers and can survive completely underwater for up to five minutes, an ability they will use to evade predators. If necessary, a Capybara can sleep underwater, keeping its nose just at the waterline.

Capybaras eat their own feces in the morning in order to help digest the cellulose in the grass that forms their normal diet. During midday, as temperatures increase, Capybaras wallow in water to keep cool and then graze in late afternoons and early evenings. They sleep little, usually dozing off and on throughout the day and grazing into and through the night.

Millions of years ago, the largest rodent known to man roamed the earth, Phoberomys pattersoni.

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According to Wikipedia: Phoberomys pattersoni was a rodent that lived in the ancient Orinoco River delta approximately 8 million years ago. It was the second-largest of the roughly 7 species of its genus. Like many other rodents, Phoberomys was a herbivore with high-crowned premolars and molars.

An almost complete skeleton of P. pattersoni, discovered in Urumaco, Venezuela in 2000, has enabled researchers to reconstruct its size and probable lifestyle. It was 3 m(9.8 ft) long, with an additional 1.5 m (5 ft.) tail, and probably weighed around 700 kilograms, making it the largest rodent for which a good size and weight estimate is currently possible. Its congener Phoberomys insolita was a bit larger still, but it is not known from any reasonably complete remains and thus its size cannot be estimated more precisely.

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One Response to “It’s Giant Rodent Day at Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo!”

  1. Pages tagged "capybara" Says:

    […] = “34d024″; var mooter_wrapper_url=””; var run_method = “onload”; var mooter_target = “0”; It’s Giant Rodent Day at Kitty Mowmow’s Animal… saved by 1 others     MattyB64 bookmarked on 01/12/08 | […]

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