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Science

Giant Fossil Rodent Discovered 47

conlaw writes "According a report in today's National Geographic News, scientists in Uruguay have confirmed that a skeleton found by an amateur paleontologist is that of the largest known rodent. Based on the 21-inch-long skull, the scientists have concluded that the creature, who lived between 2 and 4 million years ago, was about the size of a full-grown bull, weighing in at slightly over a ton. Imagine encountering one of these guys in your cozy little cave!"
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Giant Fossil Rodent Discovered

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  • by Eevee (535658) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @08:09PM (#22074724)
    I don't think they exist.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's Richard Stallman. Close though.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        OK, ya gotta love RS, so this is just good natured teasing:

        1.Still waiting for giant rodent's vapor OS 2. Emacs keyboard layout based on ancient rodent thinking patterns
        3. Beady little black eyes
        4. Once taken seriously, now just an interesting historical topic
        5. Same ability to take input from others
        6. Upstaged by superior competitors
        7. HAIRY!!
        8. Evolutionary dead-end
        9. Makes women jump on a chair


        AND FINALLY.....

        10. Both MIT graduates !!
    • by llamalad (12917)
      I admit it, your joke is better than mine.
    • I don't think that word means what you think it means.
    • by wolf68 (1013177)
      they have been know about for years they were in the movie Princess Bride. also they are in adventure quest RPG under the name B.U.R.P. (big ugly rat pest)
  • by Eric Smith (4379) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @08:17PM (#22074830) Homepage Journal
    The Ravenous Giant Rodent of Earth often makes a good meal for visiting tourists.

    (This entry may need to be updated in the next edition.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gardyloo (512791)
      The Ravenous Giant Rodent of Earth often makes a good meal of visiting tourists.

          You were right: it did need to be updated.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Provocateur (133110)
        The last guy they did send to verify the facts was only able to send this much:

        "The Ravenous Giant Rodent of Earth often makes a good meal"

        and we never heard from him again. Ford, are you working on anything right now? Other than finishing your drink, that is.
  • RouS? (Score:2, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564)
    the scientists have concluded that the creature, who lived between 2 and 4 million years ago, was about the size of a full-grown bull, weighing in at slightly over a ton.

    inconceivable!
    • "I do not think that word means what you think it means."
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      slightly over a ton. [inconceivable!]

      Not really. EVERY living mammal most likely evolved from rodent-like ancestors. During the age of dinosaurs, almost all the mammals were puny.
           
      • by jd (1658)
        According to various lists of giant fauna, the largest land-based mammal weighed upwards of 20 tonnes. The largest mammal that has ever lived is, of course, the Blue Whale, which is the descendant of a relative of the modern hippo. The cetaceans are unusual in that they are aquatic life descended from land life. The manatees are also descended from land life (they are relatives of the giraffe). I don't know of other examples. The contest for the largest rodent seems fierce, with competition from at least on
        • "The cetaceans are unusual in that they are aquatic life descended from land life. The manatees are also descended from land life (they are relatives of the giraffe). I don't know of other examples."

          Manatees are NOT close relatives of the giraffe. The closest aquatic relatives of the giraffes are, again, the cetaceans.

          The land to water transition among mammals isn't terribly uncommon though:

          manatees are Afrotherians, closely related to elephants (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrotheria [wikipedia.org])

          seals, walruses,
  • by rueger (210566) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @08:34PM (#22075012) Homepage
    Honestly, some of us are really tired of the endless coverage of the US election primaries. Especially the Republicans of which you speak...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheapy (809643)
      See what I don't understand is this:

      Is it a giant Fossil Rodent? I thought they turn to fossils after they die, not before.

      Or is it a giant rodent fossil?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SpaceLifeForm (228190)
        I think it's a Giant Fossil. I'm curious as to
        who this lifeform called Rodent is that discovered it.
  • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @08:42PM (#22075110)
    The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world!
  • by Indes (323481)
    Are these related to the rodents of unusual sweetness??! [worldofrats.com]
  • ...theo other giant rats, such as Amblyrhiza Inundata [news.ai] from Anguila?
    • by Jonathan_S (25407)

      ...theo other giant rats, such as Amblyrhiza Inundata from Anguila?
      Well, (according to wikipedia; use appropriate grains of salt) the Amblyrhiza Inundata grew between 50 and 200 kg, and according to the linked article (yes, I must be new here) this new giant rodent was believed to be 1000 kg.

      So quite a bit bigger than the Amblyrhiza Inundata.
      • by jd (1658)
        Sodium salt, potassium salt or lithium salt? You're right, that's what the wikipedia page says, but the analogous sized animals used to compare the rodents with modern life (a grizzly bear versus a bull) would seem to be far closer than the x5 - x20 difference that the given masses of the rodents would imply, hence my confusion. Either one (or both) analogies is way off, or the relative masses were far closer together.

        I guess the other point of confusion is that Amblyrhiza Inundata was credited for being

  • by Tr3vin (1220548) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @12:25AM (#22077068)
    Imagine the music you could play with those things, that is if you could find a mallet that was large enough.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @01:18AM (#22077352) Homepage Journal
    ... say goodbye to our old giant rats overlords.
  • This tells us tales of a past long gone, mostly "don't fuck with the genepool of labrats or our civilization, too, will come to an end just like 2 to 4 Million years ago".

    Or to quote the lyrics from "Propellerheads - History Repeating":

    "The word is about, there's something evolving,
    whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
    They say the next big thing is here,
    that the revolution's near,
    but to me it seems quite clear
    that it's all just a little bit of history repeating.
    "

    Just a scary coincidence? I think not!

  • I get to build a better mousetrap !!! Ummm, a bigger mousetrap at least.
  • I can't tell you how many of these things I had to grind to get to level 5.
  • When news of this reached him he put on a really big shit eating smile.

  • Clip showing the actual find:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOU8GIRUd_g [youtube.com]
  • What, no "Giant Rat of Sumatra" jokes yet?

HOLY MACRO!

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