Thursday, 23 August 2012

No Gnawing! New Rat Without Molars Discovered

A newly discovered rat in the Philippines doesn't have any molars, making it the only known rodent in the world without back teeth.

The long-snouted fuzzball has been dubbed Paucidentomys vermidax. "Paucidentomys" translates roughly to "few-toothed mouse," while "vermidax" means "worm devourer" — a reference to the new species' diet.

"When we caught the animal, we were in the forest, and we knew right away that it was something different," said Jacob Esselstyn, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. "But we couldn't see inside of its mouth, so had no idea of the unusual lack of teeth."

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