Giant rats, which are ten times the size of their modern relatives, were found on the island some 1000 years ago. To such conclusion have come the archaeologists after the discovery of the remains of the seven giant rodents. According to experts, it is the largest members of the genus that ever lived on Earth.
Researchers from the Australian national University discovered the fossils during the expedition on early human migration through Southeast Asia. The first human settlements on East Timor was about 46 thousand years ago. There is reason to believe that ancient people thousands of years side by side with rats, giants, and even used them for food. The largest of the two weighed about five kilograms, which is comparable to the size of a small dog. Modern rat, for comparison, weighs about a pound.
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These rats could fall from a height of 15 meters and not crash and was able to take in the air jump one meter from the flat surface.
The biggest rat in the world
The fossils showed that people ate the giant rats. On the bones of rodents traces of cuts and roasting on the fire. Researchers are trying to figure out what led to the extinction of rodent giants. They attribute the disappearance of the rats with the impact of immigrants on the local ecosystem – you can start using metal tools. It has allowed people to clear large areas of forest.
It is worth noting that earlier researchers have found in East Timor, the remains of a rat giant. Then it was reported that the discovery during life, weighed about 6 pounds. It is believed that the biggest rats are found in Africa. Giant marsupial rats are able to reach 1 meter in length.