King of the Rats Weighed One Tonne.

Fossil hunters have uncovered the greatest rodent that ever lived -- a one-tonne behemoth that bestrode the swamplands of South America some four million years ago. The skull of the extraordinary beast which measures a whopping 53 centimetres (21 inches) was found in a broken boulder on Kiyu Beach on the coast of Uruguay's River Plate region. Despite its fearsome look, the creature was not carnivorous and looked more hippo-like than rat-like. The newly-found species has been dubbed Josephoartigasia monesi.

Image: New Scientist

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Seems like there was a little professional jealousy, as the founder of the then-largest fossil (before it was replaced by this one) said:

"There no doubt whatsoever that this was a huge and exceptional animal because of its size," says Marcelo Sánchez of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who discovered the P. patersoni skeleton.

Sánchez says that while the latest discovery is "incredible", it is only a matter of time before another, larger rodent is unearthed.

And I suppose he has already started digging to reclaim the title!
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