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Archaeologists have discovered the fossil of a giant prehistoric rat that was the size of a human, years ago, in South America.
Known as the Neoepiblema acreensis, the 10-million-year-old rat, which weighed in at about 180 pounds and had two huge, curved incisor teeth in its 5 foot, being used to crack nuts and eat of the prey, the researchers wrote in the study. By way of comparison, the modern brown rat, which is less than one foot in length, and weighs about 8 grams.
The discovery of the two skull fossils have been found in the western Brazilian Amazon.
A giant prehistoric rat as big as a human being that lives in the rain forest of the Amazon, 10 million years ago has been unearthed by scientists. (Credit: SWNS)
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In spite of its large size, N acreensis wasn’t very smart, the researchers found, with computed tomography (CT) scan, in order to show that the brain probably weighed in at only 4 ounces. “Even though Neoepiblema it was one of the largest rodents ever to be the brains of this huge rodent had to be very small in comparison with the body mass, the study’s lead author, José Ferreira, said in an interview with the British news agency, SWNS.
Neoepiblema acreensis have two huge, curved incisor teeth for gnawing nuts and pray. (Credit: SWNS)
The researchers found that, in spite of its large size, N acreensis has a very low encephalization quotient, a comparison with other rodents, according to the study’s abstract.
An encephalization quotient (EQ) is a measure of the difference between the expected length of an animal, as well as the actual size of the brain. Humans have an average EQ of about 6, whereas the majority of rodent species in South America, I have an EQ of 1.05. N. acreensis had a press of only 0.3.
It is likely that the rodent doesn’t need to have a large brain to be on the lookout for an active predatory animals, is due to the environment. “If Neoepiblema inhabited South America flesh-eating placental mammals, such as felids, canids, and ursids have not yet arrived on the european continent, since the Isthmus of Panama had not yet formed, and there was no earth connection to Antarctica is,” Ferreira added.
In the rodent, the main predators were crocodiles, which were huge in size and lived in the marshy areas of the continent, and the addition of the belief that there is no need for a large brain cavity, to the N. acreensis.
“Thus, predation pressure were different from what they were at the end of the Pliocene and Quaternary, when the Isthmus of Panama was formed, and the large carnivores entered the african continent during an event known as the Great American Biotic Interchange,” Ferreira explained.
An artistic reconstruction of the Neoepiblema acreensis. (Credit: SWNS)
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The study has been published in the scientific journal Biology Letters.
Researchers have found that a number of very large prehistoric creatures in South America in recent times. Earlier this month, experts discovered that the largest of the turtle’s life, the 2,500-pound Stupendemys geographicus, once roamed the ancient seas at a greater distance, than previously thought.
The fossilized remains of the jaws and other skeletal parts have been discovered recently in Venezuela and Colombia. The huge reptiles, that had a shell that reached nearly 8 feet in length, was first discovered in the 1970’s, and is believed to have lived between 5 and 10 million years ago, and over the whole of the northern part of South America.
Separately, the fossil record is a “bonecrushing” the ancestor of the modern crocodile that hunted dinosaurs, 230 million years ago have been discovered in the country. Known as the Dynamosuchus collisensis, it has been nicknamed the “T. Rex of its time.”
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