Dog sized Rat Species Discovered by Archaeologists in East Timor

Seven giant rat species have been discovered by Archaeologists in East Timor, according to reports published on Nov 8, 2015.

The rat species found were said to be up to 10 times the size of modern rats, equivalent to a small dog.

Project head Dr Julien Louys, from the Australian National University, said these were the largest rat species to have ever existed.

“They are what you would call mega-fauna. The biggest one is about five kilos, the size of a small dog. Just to put that in perspective, a large modern rat would be about half a kilo.” said Louis.

The research was undertaken as part of the Sunda to Sahul project that is looking at the earliest human movement in these species.

According to Louys, the oldest records of human beings in East Timor date way back to 46,000 years ago. research suggest they lived with the rats for thousands of years.

“We know they’re eating the giant rats because we have found bones with cut and burn marks,” he said.

In the above picture, Louys is seen holding the jaw bone of a giant rat species. In another hand, he is holding the same bone of a modern rat for comparison.


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