found a squirrel-like creature that lived during the time of the dinosaurs! Here's the article from the Washington Post:
Scientists finally found Zenkerella, the world’s most mysterious mammalBy Sarah Kaplan
The specimen sat in alcohol at the bottom of an opaque plastic container. Its luxuriant black fur was dark and matted, its characteristic tail curled. David Fernandez peered at the odd-looking critter, which he'd spent the better part of the past year trying to track down, and hoped it was the real thing.
|just for fun...|
Seiffert immediately texted back: That's Zenkerella.
"I think he was even more excited than I was," Fernandez recalled. "It was amazing, the first entire specimen available for us, and for science basically."
Zenkerella insignis, the critter caught on Bioko, is one of the world's most ancient and mysterious mammals. Until now, it was known only by its fossils and 11 scattered specimens, many of which had been languishing in natural history collections for over 100 years. Researchers who were interested in the species (and there aren't many) had little to go on aside from a hind limb here, a few teeth there. No scientist in history has ever seen it alive.
But, in a study published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ, Fernandez, Seiffert and their colleagues describe the capture of three freshly killed Z. insignis specimens. The discovery means that, for the first time, scientists were able to examine the genome of one of the bizarre mammals, and finally figure out where Zenkerella fits in our evolutionary family tree.
Members of the Zenkerella genus are creatures of another world, "living fossils" that have evolved very little over the past 49 million years. For context, they're only about 15 million years younger than the dinosaurs, and some 35 million years older than the oldest great apes. When they first arose, Australia was still connected to Antarctica, and the Himalayas didn't even exist yet.
Zenkerella is the ultimate survivor. Of the 5,400 mammal species known to science, only it and five others are the sole surviving members of ancient lineages. Even among that select group, Zenkerella's living fossil status makes it almost unique. But it is the least studied of all these ancient creatures.
FOR THE FULL STORY: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/16/scientists-finally-found-zenkerella-the-worlds-most-mysterious-mammal/?postshare=1541471352618906&tid=ss_tw