Friday, September 19, 2003
The formal name is Phoberomys pattersoni. A 1,545-pound (700-kilogram) rodent with a voracious appetite and big teeth. Resembling a guinea pig grown to the size of a buffalo, the animal lived millions of years ago in a South American swamp and is thought to be history's biggest rodent.
It was unearthed in a semi-desert area of Venezuela, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Caracas. Seen from a distance, it would have looked much more like a buffalo than like a scaled-up guinea pig
Six million to eight million years ago