Contest Directions: Show what other "half-rat" or "half-squirrel" animal species may be discovered. Your animal has to be partially rat OR partially squirrel, and partially some other animal. Original rat/squirrel combination is also welcome.
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This contest is fueled by the following news:
Scientists have discovered a new creature in central Laos that has the face of rat and the tail of a thin squirrel. It is believed to be a species that has been thought to have been extinct for 11 million years. The rodent with long whiskers made headlines around the world when biologists declared a new species that has been nicknamed the Laotian rock rat. In the end, it turned out that the little fellow was not new after all. In fact, it is a rare kind of survivor -- a member of a family thought long gone and present only in fossil remains. In addition, it is not a rat. The species is called Diatomyidae and looks more like small squirrels or tree shrews, according to paleontologist Mary Dawson of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Locals in Laos call the rodent kha-nyou. Scientists haven't yet a bagged a breathing one, only the bodies of those recently caught by hunters or for sale at meat markets. The challenge has become to trap some live ones. After that, scientists will be able calculate how many still exist to tell whether the species is endangered, according to Dawson.