Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Tiniest Grazing Mammal Defies Darwinian Explanations

Pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus). Image courtesy of John Gould, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

The pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) was last seen alive in the 1950s, but it still causes problems for orthodox Darwinian thinking.

Its features were more or less bizarre: it looked like a rat but had a pig’s fore feet and a horse’s hind feet. And it was a grazing marsupial.

Weighing 200 grams, and with a body length of 23–26 cm and a 10–15 cm long tail, it was the smallest grazing mammal known to science.

Using three fossil teeth, a new paper attempts to trace its ancestry to an omnivorous animal that lived “2 million years” ago.

However, evolutionists don’t usually think that creatures change their diets so quickly.

Several other Australian animals, such as the Duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), and the spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus), also defy Darwinian classifications due to their mosaic features.

(The platypus also happens to be a living fossil, thus further complicating matters for evolution.)

It is difficult to find a place for such creatures in Darwin’s tree of life that according to some studies has fallen down and according to some others has become a bush.

Once again, we see a creative use of features in an animal that still reproduces according to the after its kind principle.


Klein, Alice. 2016. Tiniest grazing mammal was a pig at the front, horse at the back New Scientist (24 August).