Noronhomys vespuccii, Vespucci's rodent, was a rat from the islands of
Fernando de Noronha off northeastern Brazil. Numerous but fragmentary
fossil remains of the extinct species, of uncertain but probably
Holocene age, were discovered in 1973 and described in 1999. N.
vespuccii was larger than the black rat (Rattus rattus), with high-
crowned molars and several ridges on the skull that anchored the chewing
muscles. A member of the family Cricetidae and subfamily Sigmodontinae,
it shared several distinctive characters with the tribe Oryzomyini. Its
close relatives, including Holochilus and Lundomys, are adapted to a
semiaquatic lifestyle, spending much of their time in the water, but
features of the Noronhomys bones suggest that it lost its semiaquatic
lifestyle after arrival at its remote island. Italian explorer Amerigo
Vespucci may have seen it on a visit to Fernando de Noronha in 1503.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noronhomys>
Today's selected anniversaries:
French soldiers uncovered the Rosetta Stone in Fort Julien,
near the Egyptian port city of Rashid.
Five hundred thousand American steelworkers went on strike,
closing nearly every steel mill in the country.
Armenian extremist organization ASALA bombed the Turkish
Airlines check-in counter at Orly Airport, killing 8 and injuring 55, as
part of its campaign for the recognition of and reparations for the
Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed in northwestern Iran,
killing all 168 people aboard.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Edible kelp (“a type of brown seaweed”) (from the class Phaeophyceae)
used in East Asian cuisine.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Every expression of human mental life can be understood as a kind
of language, and this understanding, in the manner of a true method,
everywhere raises new questions.
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