11 Million Year Old Rat Found, Doesn't Look a Day Over 40.
It's very slow and waddles like a duck when not climbing in its preferred rocky environs. The creature is also very docile, having some how missed out on the last 11 million years of evolution. This methulselan rat isn't alone in the prehistoric hold overs club. There is also the Monito Del Monte, a small marsupial recently identified in south America. This "little mountain monkey" was believed extinct circa 11 million BC. And who can forget the discovery of the Coelacanth? A rough and tumble, 150+ pound fish that appeared out of the deep blue after being gone for over 80 million years. This creature lived along side the big Hollywood dinos like T-Rex and Triceratops. It's not known how any of these species survived and laid low for all these millions of years. But it lends credence to the thought that there may be even more prehistoric survivors walking, climbing, and swimming through remote parts of the world.
But the Laotian Rock Rat is now more than just conjecture. The furry little guy has been photographed, and just recently video taped. Docile, cute, good with humans, and an 11 million year old antique. Some one should be breeding these things to sell in pet stores. I think a Miocene era living fossil would be infinitely preferable to the default rabbit or trendy ferret. And what sorts of things might we learn from the DNA of a species from that far back in evolution's play book? Perhaps it could even aid in the discovery of the Ur-mammal from which we all came. Not bad for an old guy.