I’ve still got a handful of comics to review from last week, but things unexpectedly came up last night and gave me no time to write up some proper reviews. So instead, let’s just take a moment to thank our lucky stars that the age of 2,000-pound rodents is over.

Uruguayan scientists say they have uncovered fossil evidence of the biggest species of rodent ever found, one that scurried across wooded areas of South America about 4 million years ago, when the continent was not connected to North America.

A herbivore, the beast may have been a contemporary, and possibly prey, of saber-toothed cats — a prehistoric version of Tom and Jerry.

For those afraid of rodents, forget hopping on a chair. Its huge skull, more than 20 inches (50 centimeters) long, suggested a beast more than 8 feet (2.4 meters) long and weighing between 1,700 and 3,000 pounds (750 and 1,350 kilograms).

Although British newspapers variously described it as a mouse or a rat, researchers say the animal, named Josephoartigasia monesi, actually was more closely related to a guinea pig or porcupine.

“These are totally different from the rats and mice we’re accustomed to,” said Bruce Patterson, the curator of mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago, adding that it was the biggest rodent he had ever heard of.

An eight-foot-long guinea pig. Imagine finding that in your pantry sometime…

Comments are closed.