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2010-07-26 08:20:00

Archaeological research in East Timor has unearthed the bones of the biggest rat that ever lived, with a body weight around 6 kg. The cave excavations also yielded a total of 13 species of rodents, 11 of which are new to science. Eight of the rats weighed a kilogram or more. "East Indonesia is a hot spot for rodent evolution. We want international attention on conservation in the area," CSIRO's Dr Ken Aplin says. "Rodents make up 40 per cent of mammalian diversity worldwide and are a key...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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