Nick named the 'Laotian Rock Rat', this little creature has the
face of a rat and the tail of a squirrel, hence the other nickname
It first made the news in the Spring of
2005 when scientists believed it was a new species. In fact it has
been confirmed by palaeontologist Mary Dawson of Pittsburgh's
Carnegie Museum of Natural History that it has been in existence
for over 11 million years.
It was thought to be extinct for millions of years because no
signs, dead or alive, had been noted except for fossil records.
The Rat Squirrel (really part of the species Diatomyidae) is found in
the forests of central Laos but because it is a nocturnal creature it is
rarely spotted. Recent remains of this mysterious creature have been
found but so far a living example has not been trapped. But the hunt is
Locals in the Laotion forest areas call the creature a
kha-nyou and confirm its existence. George Schaller, a naturalist
with the Wildlife Conservation Society, which confirmed the existence of
the so-called Rat Squirrel last year said that reappearance of a species
after such a long time is known as the 'Lazarus effect'. Lazarus was
raised from the dead by Christ when he was alive.
We will keep this page posted with any more details as they become