Thursday, 6 March 2014
The animal you see above is the Laotian rock rat (Leonastes aenigmanus) to which an interesting tale is attached. You see, it belongs to a group which supposedly became extinct 11 million years ago. There were no fossils indicating its continued existence. Then a specimen was discovered in a meat market, where it was apparently destined for a kebab. Since then, more specimens have come to light.
For the cryptozoologist, this sort of "living fossil" is of considerable interest as cryptozoology involves looking into reports of supposedly extinct animals. The argument from the fossil record that such animals cannot exist is thus shown to rest on excessively shaky foundations.
Incidentally, in case you haven't guessed, this animal is found in Laos. It is also known as the kha-nyou.