London, Jan 16 (UNI) Scientists have discovered fossil remains of a rodent that weighed more than a bull.
The behemoth weighing between one and 1.4 tonnes was uncovered by an amateur palaeontologist on the coast of Rio de La Plata, Uruguay.
Although a relative of the mouse, rat, and guinea pigs kept by thousands of children, the four million year old heavyweight champ of rodents looks more like a capybara, the largest living rodent, which also harks from South America and enjoys an aquatic lifestyle.
It is a member of the family that today includes the pakarana (Dinomys branickii), a poorly studied rodent that grows up to approximately 15 kg, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The discovered rodent had half a metre long skull and reached a length of around three metres, assuming its body was barrel-shaped like that of a capybara. The incisors of the mega rodent were around four inches and characteristics of its teeth suggest that it dined on aquatic plants, perhaps even fruit, said Dr Ernesto Blanco, who is studying the fossil in detail.
Rodents are usually small, generally less than 1 kg, with the capybara only reaching 60kg, a lightweight compared with the new discovery.
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