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I think I'll call him Rusty.
May 19, 2011 8:25 AM   Subscribe

The red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), not seen in over a hundred years, made an unexpected, nonchalant appearance at the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia a couple of weeks ago. Witnesses are unavailable for comment, being too busy with squeals of "Awwwwwww" to respond to questions. Press release here; high-res photos heEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
posted by Gator (25 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
God is resurrecting extinct animals before Saturday's Rapture. He's starting with the cute ones, but soon it'll be velociraptors.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:29 AM on May 19, 2011 [37 favorites]


God is resurrecting extinct animals before Saturday's Rapture.

Oooh! I am cashing out my 401k to have a Dodo bird egg omelet then!
posted by ian1977 at 8:35 AM on May 19, 2011


Mmm... cuy.
posted by dersins at 8:45 AM on May 19, 2011


I guess this means I have to stop referring to squirrels as "tree rats." Goddamn pests raiding my garden...
posted by exogenous at 8:45 AM on May 19, 2011


Mmm... cuy.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:48 AM on May 19, 2011


*Yaaaawn* hey guys, what's up, just took a killer nap...hey, what's all the fuss about? I don't remember there being this many humans around when I went to sleep, what's going on?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:54 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Very Cute
(until you see the RAT tail)

RAT!
posted by djrock3k at 8:59 AM on May 19, 2011


Dude, rats are adorable tails and all. And he has it wrapped around under his little chin!

What a little snookums!

And it's pretty cool that the species has survived! That "only being seen once every 100 years or so" is probably a good survival strategy.
posted by kavasa at 9:02 AM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, if anyone else wants to say that rats are in whole or in part anything less than righteously cute: watch this.
posted by kavasa at 9:04 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Red-Crested Tree Rat Reappears After 113 Years

Yeah, I'm going with Salvor Hardin on this; there was some serious rodent napping going on. I mean, just look at that awesome full body bed-head it's got going on.
posted by quin at 9:06 AM on May 19, 2011


Huh, apparently 'bajar' is the Spanish word that's used for 'download'. I like that.
posted by gurple at 9:06 AM on May 19, 2011


He is a Colombian, so maybe he was just spending those 100 years in solitude.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:20 AM on May 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


The red-crested tree rats shall inherit the earth. A fitting conclusion.
posted by blucevalo at 9:28 AM on May 19, 2011


Unfortunately it was immediately eaten by a Tasmanian tiger.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:41 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I shall welcome our red-crested overlords with open arms.

'Cuz they're cute.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:42 AM on May 19, 2011


Thanks for posting this!

Not infrequently, I am confronted with taxon names based on two specimens collected 100 years ago in some far-off place and never seen or heard from since. And so I have some busted-up old herbarium specimen that I can't get DNA out of, or I only have a digital copy of it, or whatever, and the source literature is falling apart in our library, impossible to track down, and/or in Latin or Cyrillic or something. And I think, What a Bunch of Crap. Clearly this name is invalid, or the thing is extinct, or the author didn't know what they were talking about. Sigh.

And then there is a story like this, which puts a smile on my face and reminds me to lose the attitude problem cause you never know what's going to happen.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Very Cute
(until you see the RAT tail)


Rats are cute as hell, and twice as friendly -- I had a pair of them once upon a time, named after dwarves in The Hobbit. They were super pets. The rats, not the dwarves.

Stupid black plague fleas gave rats the bum rap. Stupid fleas.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:48 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]



Very Cute
(until you see the RAT tail)


huh? it has a furry tail unlike the rats that tend to freak people out.
posted by Locobot at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very Cute
(until you see the RAT tail)


It's always been odd to me that hairless apes freak out about rat tails. This one especially, since it's white tipped and furry.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:17 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd be willing to bet lots of money that someone has seen one of these in the last hundred years.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:34 AM on May 19, 2011


Awww! But they need better branding. "Rat" has all that negative connotation. I shall rename them the South American Fancy Chipmunk.
posted by steef at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Are we sure this isn't a regular rat that's gone punk and dyed his hair?
posted by vespabelle at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2011


Yay! That's a great rat alright!
posted by troublewithwolves at 12:07 PM on May 19, 2011


Extinction rates 'overestimated', says study: Current extinction rate projections may be overestimating the role of habitat loss on species, a study suggests.
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on May 19, 2011


I could make one of those with a guinea pig and a can of red spray paint.
posted by tomswift at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2011


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