An giant rat the size of a human has been found in South America. Thankfully for the squeamish, it wasn’t alive. Archaeologists working at the Acre dig site in the western Brazilian Amazon uncovered 2 fossil skulls – one almost completely preserved, the other a fragment. The creature, named ‘Neoepiblema acreensis’, existed 10 million years ago and has become the focus of a new brain study.
Quoted by the Daily Mail, Prof José Ferreira describes the rat as “an extinct relative of the chinchillas and pacaranas”. The report goes on to say the evidence “was so well preserved it even had impressions of olfactory bulbs – the region of the brain that process odour – and the frontal and temporal lobes which are involved in thoughts and actions.”
Neoepiblema acreensis was 5 feet long and around 175 lbs in weight. Any animal crossing its path would have to deal with “two huge curved incisor teeth”!
Prof Ferreira and his team published their findings in the Biology Letters science journal. Aiming to find out what made these carnivorous critters tick they used, according to the study, “non-invasive imaging techniques on an exceptionally preserved giant caviomorph skull” which served to “address the evolution of the brain in this large rodent clade (group of organisms) characterized by exceptional size range in the fossil record.”
Read more: The Vintage News