Friday, April 29, 2016   |   5,868 users online
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos  ·  Chat
Find: in

Rats could evolve to be as big as sheep


Posted on Tuesday, 4 February, 2014 | Comment icon 28 comments

How big can rats get ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Chris Barber
The extinction of several large mammal species could pave the way for super-sized rats.
Being highly adaptable, rats could soon grow to huge sizes if other larger mammal species disappear. The largest rodent species alive today is the capybara which can weigh up to 80kg, however in the past there have been even larger specimens - the extinct Josephoartegasia monesi for example grew to be the size of a large cow and weighed over a ton.

"In the Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs lived, there were mammals, but these were very small, rat and mouse-sized, because dinosaurs occupied the larger ecological niches," said geologist Dr Jan Zalasiewicz. "Only once the dinosaurs were out of the way did these tiny mammals evolve into many different forms, including some very large and impressive ones: brontotheriums, horses, mastodons, mammoths, rhinoceri and more."

If something similar happens in the future, animals like rats could become free to grow, spread and diversify. With gigantism being a common consequence of a smaller animal stepping in to fill the shoes of a larger species that has gone extinct, it is not outside the realm of possibility that we could be seeing rats the size of sheep or even bigger in the not-too-distant future.

Source: Independent | Comments (28)

Tags: Rats


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by spud the mackem on 4 February, 2014, 22:37
A couple went into a Hong Kong restaurant with their small dog,they ordered, and said could you feed the dog. The dog was presented on a plate within the hour cooked and ready to eat...true it made Time Magazine.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Eldorado on 4 February, 2014, 22:56
Did they finish it or take some home in a doggy-bag?
Comment icon #21 Posted by DecoNoir on 5 February, 2014, 1:47
Simple solution: bullets! The bigger they are the easier they are to hit!
Comment icon #22 Posted by Awake2Chaos on 5 February, 2014, 2:27
I could of gone the rest of my life without entertaining this thought. LOL, and right before bed.
Comment icon #23 Posted by avs76 on 7 February, 2014, 16:31
I'm wondering if the rats legs/feet/ankles will need to adapt to this evolution. To me it seems that their feet and ankles would not handle the increased weight if they were to grow in size. I just had a visual of the Rodents of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride - anyone else remember that? What a great movie ...
Comment icon #24 Posted by Azznerak the Black on 9 February, 2014, 18:26
Well, Detroit is screwed....HA!!!
Comment icon #25 Posted by Scheming B on 9 February, 2014, 18:37
Huh, so itd be fair to say these would be rodents and their size would best be described as unusual. ....seems like there should be a name for something like this.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Mikko-kun on 18 February, 2014, 20:12
I doubt we'd see them in cities because people fear them, they'd shoot them. But I'd love to have them on the countryside, though they could be quite devastating to the crops. The problem is rats can chew their way outta pretty much anything, I've heard some go through even metal, but usually concrete and metal make them choose some other way or place. They could make good guards though. My 1kg rat could make me bleed if he wanted but he's a gentle boy so he just cuddles... but if he wanted he could do some damage. An 80kg rat, you wouldn't wanna mess with that, would ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by acute on 18 February, 2014, 20:22
'Ere, is that rat tart? Disgusting.
Comment icon #28 Posted by psyche101 on 19 February, 2014, 6:21
These guys used to find big rats tasty......


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:
Users online:
5,639,640
257,330
129,085
5,868
 
New risk report warns of future catastrophes
4-28-2016
Scientists have warned that world governments are not doing enough to prepare for disaster scenarios.
Police investigate man driving a giant foot
4-28-2016
Police in London were left perplexed this week after a man was spotted driving a rather peculiar vehicle.
'Space umbrella' could stop global warming
4-28-2016
Scientists have been exploring ambitious new ways to effectively cool, rather than to warm up the planet.
SpaceX reveals plans for 2018 mission to Mars
4-27-2016
Elon Musk's private space firm is aiming to land a spacecraft on the Red Planet within just two years.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Are dire wolves real animals ?
Posted 4-28-2016 | 2 comments
The huge wolves in Game of Thrones are not as far-fetched as they may seem.
 
How are candy canes made ?
Posted 4-27-2016 | 1 comment
A look at the manufacturing processes involved in the creation of candy canes.
 
You won't believe your eyes
Posted 4-26-2016 | 1 comment
A look at a remarkable gadget that produces images through a spinning LED array.
 
Sir David Attenborough at 90
Posted 4-25-2016 | 5 comments
Next month the world-famous naturalist and TV presenter will be turning 90 years old.
 
The world's most remote island
Posted 4-24-2016 | 4 comments
Do you have what it takes to live in the most remote island community on the planet ?
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Paralyzed
4-15-2016 | United States
 
The mysterious awakening
4-6-2016 | Los Angeles, California
 
Chocolate fairy? Really?
4-6-2016 | United Kingdom
 
Christmas Day haunting
4-6-2016 | London, UK
 
The funeral director
3-30-2016 | Hebburn, England
 
A strange sighting in Spain
3-30-2016 | Albatera, Spain
 
Dust patterns on basement floor
3-27-2016 | Smithville, Texas
 
The old man and the red-eyed girl
3-14-2016 | Tennessee
 
The mother of motherships
3-14-2016 | Australia
 
What happened ?
2-27-2016 | Windsor, Ontario
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ