The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Don't Call It a Rat

The fossil remains of a 2,000-pound rodent -- imagine something bigger than a cow -- were identified by a couple of underpaid scientists across the river in Uruguay last week. The skull of the 2-million year old creature, which looks more like a capybara than a rat to me, was sitting in Uruguay's natural history museum for 10 years before anyone had the time and money to look into it. Click the blog title for a link to the story.

One of the scientists told me the skull was found by an amateur paleontologist strolling a beach near Colonia, the old city that is just a 45-minute ferry ride from Buenos Aires. The image above shows the rodent's head compared to its only living relative, the endangered pacarana. Who knows what else is sitting in the museum's basement.

Dana update from Jerusalem coming soon! Maybe today.