Sunday, 28 September 2014

Chinchilla Rat Extant not Extinct

In an error-strewn article The Guardian (not my favourite newspaper) carried the report on Friday that Cuscomys oblativa, a chinchilla rat or chinchillone, has been found alive.

Hiram Bingham—of Macchu Picchu fame—found skulls of this species in Inca pottery in 1912. Somebody decided that the species must have become extinct but as is so often the case with small mammals absence of evidence was interpreted as evidence of absence.

This chinchilla rat, now called the Macchu Picchu Chinchilla Rat is said to be arboreal.