Surprise.. a ancestor of mice settled in Egypt 34 million years ago


A recent scientific study confirmed the discovery of a new type of small rat, which lived in the Egyptian forests about 34 million years ago, its head the size of a fingertip, and its weight does not exceed 45 grams.

In detail, the research prepared by a team from Mansoura University showed that the origin of this type of mice dates back to the continent of Asia, and came to Africa on tree trunks that moved through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea due to tidal waves, or as a result of floods caused by climate changes.

She also indicated that his name is “Qataranimis Severuts”, and he is the grandfather of mice that currently live in Africa and South America, and who inhabited the tropical forests of Fayoum 34 million years ago.

The first tribe of rodents

She also showed that the mouse belongs to the first tribe of rodents that migrated to the continent of Asia after a sharp drop in temperatures about 30 million years ago, in what is called global cooling and the formation of the north and south poles – and settled in Fayoum, which was then tropical forests, and Egypt was a warmer environment.

She mentioned that among the sites of the African deserts, the Faiyum depression in Egypt is the most important in terms of the production of vertebrate fossils, especially mammals, from the Paleogene period, the period from 66 to 23 million years ago.

Examination of the skull and lower jaws

In turn, Hisham Salam, a vertebrate paleontologist at the American University and Mansoura University and the leader of the research team, explained that the study enabled the examination of two skulls and a large group of mandibles, but the matter was not easy enough, as the samples are very small, very thin and adhered to solid rocky clay, which made the preparation of samples The study is very difficult, so we had to make a precise CT scan to be able to study it in a 3D image.

He also added that the length of the molar of Severus did not exceed one millimeter, and his skull was about 1 and a half centimeters long, and its weight did not exceed 45 grams, so we chose to name it Severus due to its apparent small size.

For her part, Shorouq Al-Ashkar, a researcher in the Salam Lab team and the lead author of the study, explained that the samples showed clear differences in the morphological characteristics of the upper and lower teeth, and by comparing it with rodents discovered from the African continent, we can be sure that it is a new genus and species that has not been discovered before.

She said: “Not only did we record in this study a new genus and species, but we were able to record the first bones of the skull of phycocytomines, and the large group to which the new find belongs.

In addition, she indicated that the scientists recorded their new discovery in the name of Qatranimis Severuts “Qatrani”, relative to the area of ​​Jabal Qatrani, from which the samples were discovered. “Miz” means mouse in Latin, while “Severuts” is taken from the Egyptian colloquial language, which means “small in size.”

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