Friday, May 13, 2005

You and Me Baby


Hot on the heels of the new Borneo fox, scientists have "discovered" a new type of rodent that Laotians have known all along:

"It was for sale on a table next to some vegetables. I knew immediately it was something I had never seen before," said Robert Timmins of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Other specimens caught by hunters were later identified by WCS researcher Mark Robinson.

DNA analysis and a comparison of the skull and other bones to other creatures suggest Kha-Nyou diverged from other rodents millions of years ago.

Link. They're calling it Laonastes aenigmamus, which, if I know my Latin, and I think I do, is "The Laotian Enigma," which incidentally would make a great Lucha Libre name. Apparently if you are going to discover new mammals, Southeast Asia is the place to do it, because, as previously noted,
Discoveries of mammals are extremely rare. Six were found in the 1990s in remote forests in Vietnam - a rhino, a rabbit, three deer and a primate - but they were the first since the discovery of the kouprey in the area in 1937.

Link. This recent rash of new mammal discoveries can mean only one thing: it's time once again to link to The Ballad of the Sneak.

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