Today's featured article
Noronhomys vespuccii, Vespucci's rodent, was a rat from the islands of Fernando de Noronha off northeastern Brazil. Numerous but fragmentary fossil remains of the extinct species, of uncertain but probably Holocene age, were discovered in 1973 and described in 1999. N. vespuccii was larger than the black rat (Rattus rattus), with high-crowned molars and several ridges on the skull that anchored the chewing muscles. A member of the family Cricetidae and subfamily Sigmodontinae, it shared several distinctive characters with the tribe Oryzomyini. Its close relatives, including Holochilus and Lundomys, are adapted to a semiaquatic lifestyle, spending much of their time in the water, but features of the Noronhomys bones suggest that it lost its semiaquatic lifestyle after arrival at its remote island. Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci may have seen it on a visit to Fernando de Noronha in 1503. (Full article...)
In the news
- The Cricket World Cup concludes with England defeating New Zealand in the final.
- A skull found in Apidima Cave, Greece, in 1978, is dated to 215,000 years ago, making it possibly the earliest Homo sapiens known to have lived outside of Africa.
- In association football, the FIFA Women's World Cup concludes with the United States (Golden Ball winner Megan Rapinoe pictured) defeating the Netherlands in the final.
- The African Continental Free Trade Agreement becomes operational.