St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

'Living fossil' mouse discovered on Cyprus

Published October 13, 2006

LONDON - Using DNA testing, scientists have discovered what is believed to be the first terrestrial mammal found in Europe in decades: a mouse with a big head, ears, eyes and teeth that lives in a mountainous area of Cyprus.

The mouse was native to the eastern Mediterranean island, survived the arrival of man on Cyprus and could be considered a "living fossil," experts said.

"New mammal species are mainly discovered in hot spots of biodiversity like Southeast Asia, and it was generally believed that every species of mammal in Europe had been identified," said Thomas Cucchi, a research fellow at Durham University in northeast England.

"This is why the discovery of a new species of mouse on Cyprus was so unexpected and exciting," he said in an interview Thursday.

The mouse mainly lives in the Troodos Mountain in the west of the island, Cucchi said.

It favors vineyards, grassy fields and bushes.

Genetic tests confirmed the mouse was a new species and it was named Mus cypriacus, or the Cypriot mouse.

The biodiversity of Europe has been reviewed extensively since Victorian times, and new mammal species are rarely found on the continent.

[Last modified October 13, 2006, 01:05:29]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters