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Ancient Rats May Have Eaten Dinosaurs, Scientists Say

Dec 13, 2016 10:44 AM EST
Dinosaur bones
Archaeologists discover that ancient rats, or marsupials, may have lived at the same time as dinosaurs.
(Photo : Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

One recent interesting find by scientists and archaeologists is the possibility that ancient rats, or marsupials, have lived at the same time as dinosaurs. What makes it more interesting is that the rats, creatures significantly smaller than dinosaurs, may have eaten the said reptiles.

Bite markings have been recently found on dinosaur bones. And these are not just any types of dinosaur bones, but bones of Triceratops and other large dinosaurs. According to the  Christian Science Monitor, the death and downfall of dinosaurs have paved the way for larger mammals to thrive. However, it is incredible to find tiny teeth marks on the bones of large dinosaurs, one of the oldest indications of mammal life.

However, these may not be the normal, small-sized rats that we know of today. According to a report from the International Business Times, evidence and remains of marsupials as large as dogs were discovered in East Timor. This may be an indication that there was a time when the tiny rats we see today are more than a tenth of their original size thousands of years ago.

Although the time of existence of these giant rats cannot be clearly pointed out yet, several scientists noted that early humans may have eaten them for survival. This means the giant rats were not responsible for the bite markings on dinosaur bones.

Instead, Live Science reported that these ancient mammals that ate dinosaurs were as tiny as badgers. Their gigantic teeth may have been powerful enough to eat dinosaur flesh and crush their bones. One of the scientists involved in the research has indicated that this may fully change humans' understanding of tiny mammals during the time of dinosaurs. That instead of being the prey, they could have been ferocious predators as well. 

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