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An extraordinary looking, mouse-sized, fossil animal is shedding new light on the ancient history of mammals. With a thin snout, beady eyes and long canines, the creature would have looked remarkably like that fictional sabre-toothed squirrel of Ice Age movie-fame.
As to that likeness with Scrat, the acorn-obsessed squirrel in the animated Ice Age features films, Prof Rougier finds the association highly amusing. "I remember when I saw the movie I thought, 'why have they done this ridiculous animal - there is no such thing?'. And then we find something that kind of looks like it.
That's what I thought lol. Maybe this lil' guy was responsible for one of the mass extictions?
Yeah. You know ,it has the potential to become truly tragic. Maybe right now some scientist is attempting to clone the critter, totally unaware that Jurassic park horror scenario is nothing in comparison to results of his work.
2012... Cloned Scrat.... Lots of acorns available..... Climate change.... Oh no!!!
Originally posted by Evolutionsend
reply to post by kai22
Most small rodents have a dental structure like that. They have to actually wear their teeth down, or they will grow into each other and cause them to die from starvation. Cute little gerbals and hamsters will tear you up.
Rodents have two incisors in the upper as well as in the lower jaw which grow continuously and must be kept worn down by gnawing; this is the origin of the name, from the Latin rodere, to gnaw. These teeth are used for cutting wood, biting through the skin of fruit, or for defense. The teeth have enamel on the outside[ambiguous] and exposed dentine on the inside[ambiguous], so they self-sharpen during gnawing. Rodents lack canines, and have a space (diastema) between their incisors and premolars. Nearly all rodents feed on plants, seeds in particular, but there are a few exceptions which eat insects or fish. Some squirrels are known to eat passerine birds like cardinals and blue jays.