Laotian Rock Rat (Laonastes aenigmamus)
Laotian Rock Rat
The Laotian rock rat or kha-nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus), sometimes called the "rat-squirrel", is a rodent species of the Khammouan region of Laos. The species was first described in a 2005 article by Paulina Jenkins and coauthors, who considered the animal to be so distinct from all living rodents that they placed it in a new family, Laonastidae.
In 2006 the classification of the Laotian rock rat was disputed by Mary Dawson and coauthors. The argument was that it belongs to an ancient fossil family, Diatomyidae, which had been thought to have been extinct for 11 million years. It would thereby represent a Lazarus taxon. The animals resemble large dark rats with hairy, thick tails. Their skulls are very distinctive and have features that separate them from all other living mammals.
"Living Fossil" captured live on video
Florida State University