9 Stories

This Is Likely the First Mammal Lost to Climate Change

Mosaic-tailed rat has vanished from Bramble Cay off Australia

(Newser) - Way to go, humanity. For the first time in history, human-induced climate change has been found "solely or primarily" responsible for the extinction of a mammal species, according to a new study . The Bramble Cay melomys , or mosaic-tailed rat, was found by Europeans on a tiny coral cay off... More »

Talk of Sweden: Rat So Giant It Terrified Cat

Rodent was 16 inches long, weighed two pounds

(Newser) - Scientists' prediction that giant rats could someday rule Earth hits a lot closer to home when you have a 16-inch-long rodent running around in your kitchen—and that's not including the tail. Sweden is abuzz over a mega-sized rat dubbed "Ratzilla" (unappetizing photos here ), which was discovered... More »

California Water Worker Snaps Pics of Giant Rodent

Turns out to be a capybara, the world's biggest rodent

(Newser) - Turns out that a giant 100-pound rodent recently spotted in California is ... well, a giant 100-pound rodent. Called a capybara, it was photographed by a water treatment plant worker who posted the pics—which quickly went viral, the Los Angeles Times reports. "He seemed pretty content," said one... More »

Tree Rat Reappears After 113 Years

Red-crested tree-rat walks up to biologists

(Newser) - A rare South American rodent not seen since the Spanish-American War has turned up at the doorstep of a nature reserve in Colombia. The red-crested tree rat ambled up to a pair of amazed volunteers at the El Dorado Reserve in the Sierra Nevada, Wired reports. The last recorded sighting... More »

Rat Crashes Obama Speech

Rodent apparently supports Wall Street reform

(Newser) - No gatecrashers at President Obama’s second state dinner, but there was one yesterday as he spoke at the White House. A rodent, presumably a rat, ran across the Rose Garden steps just before Obama walked out to speak (watch the video at left—the rodent gets quite a reaction... More »

Rats Laugh When Tickled

And guess what? They like it!

(Newser) - A YouTube gem from 2007 is making the rounds again, teaching us something kind of neat and kind of gross: Rats laugh when tickled. When a Bowling Green University professor decided to try tickling the rodents, and then listening to their resulting high-frequency noises on a “bat detector,”... More »

Threatened Hamsters Land France in Court

EU aims to force French to save rodent of Alsace

(Newser) - Indifference to the great hamster of Alsace has landed France in hot water with the European Union, the Telegraph reports. Fewer than 200 of the distinctive black-bellied rodents remain. EU officials, charging that France has refused all attempts to protect the tiny animal, are taking the nation to Europe's highest... More »

China Uses 'the Pill' to Stop Gerbil Overpopulation

Officials hide contraceptive meds in gerbil feed

(Newser) - Chinese officials have resorted to contraceptive pills to control the exploding gerbil population threatening a fragile desert ecosystem, the BBC reports. The government is placing feed pellets mixed with the medication by the gerbils’ burrows, which damage the roots of what plants survive there. Authorities have tried measures to boost... More »

'Mickey Mouse of the Desert'

Scientists film endangered critter for the first time

(Newser) - A rare rodent with jumbo ears and a kangaroo hop has been nabbed on video for possibly the first time, the BBC reports. Scientists who braved the Gobi desert recently observed the jerboa as part of a plan to help the endangered and extremely rare mammal. The critter amazed them... More »

9 Stories